Each holiday season, we sell pints of oysters from W.E. Kellum, Inc., an oyster company in Weems, Virginia. The late W. Ellery Kellum founded the company in 1948 with a one-room oyster shucking house. Today, his second- and third-generation family members run the plant in an expanded space that incorporates the original building. The company has a great reputation for delivering the freshest oysters, as well as a great record in sustainability.
W.E. Kellum supports oyster conservation practices for ecological reasons as well as for the future of oyster populations. The company works with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to build oyster sanctuary reefs and replenishes public oyster beds as well as their own beds throughout the Chesapeake Bay. Family members have served on the Virginia Marine Resource’s “Shellfish Replenishment Committee,” the group that oversees the balance of harvest and sanctuary areas, as well as the overall health of oyster populations.
In addition to returning shells to the oyster reefs (a necessity for the welfare of baby oysters), W.E. Kellum hatches baby oysters and brings them to the reefs. The company uses a technique of setting oyster larvae on shells in a controlled environment. This is called “spat on shell.” The hatchery-spawned oyster larvae (a.k.a. spat) grow in tanks of sea water. Then the shells with the baby oysters are transferred to Kellum’s oyster beds as well as protected sanctuary reefs.
Read more about the Kellums at http://kellumseafood.com/.
Get recipes for The Original Mrs. Kellum’s Oyster Dressing Recipe, Kellum Seafood Sauteed Oysters, and Kellum Seafood Oyster Stew at http://kellumseafood.com/recipes.html.