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Oyster farming begins to reap what is sown

US - With popularity and prices rising, more Long Island cultivators are taking the plunge, reviving an old industry

Observant diners on the deck of the Lobster Inn in Southampton might notice something unexpected as they gaze at the pleasure boats and million-dollar homes on Cold Spring Pond. They might spot a man in orange waders aboard a humble wooden fishing boat, using a creaky winch to pull cages out of the water.

Those who ask a waiter what's going on may find out that the man, Bill Pell, is harvesting oysters and that, luckily, those oysters are offered, fresh and raw, on the restaurant's menu.

"We're so glad we asked what was local and fresh," said Ruth Laibson, visiting from Philadelphia. "They have a briny taste, a real integrity about them."