A Fresh Harvest for a Historic Farm
In the late 70's, the Westcott Bay tidelands were home to a thriving shellfish operation called Westcott Bay Seafarms, which raised renowned oysters that appeared on menus across the country. Over the years the farm went into steady decline, and was put up for sale as a home site.
Henry Island residents Erik and Andrea Anderson bought the farm in 2013 with the vision of restoring it to its former glory and honoring its legacy in the San Juan Islands community.
Over the next three years, Erik and Andrea worked to replant the depleted shellfish crops, rebuild and replace farm infrastructure, and make improvements across the property, including a new retail/packing structure and the Net Shed. Today, Westcott Bay Shellfish Co. is one of the few small, family-run aquaculture farms in the San Juan Islands. The soul of Westcott Bay is a philosophy of community and environmental stewardship, and a respect for its unique natural and cultural history. We invite you to come and enjoy our laid-back, friendly atmosphere and experience life on a working aquaculture farm.
Erik turned in his suit and tie for Grundens and XtraTufs and couldn’t be happier in his retirement. With deep roots on neighboring Henry Island, saving the oyster farm is a longtime dream come true for both Erik and Andrea. Free time for Erik is spent fishing, fishing, as well as fishing.
Andrea’s vision of the farm as a place for people to experience first-hand the community and hard work that surrounds sustainable aquaculture farming has exceeded all expectations. With a deeply held belief in giving back, Andrea donates 100% of her profits as an exhibiting artist to educational scholarships, and sits on the board of trustees for the San Juan Preservation Trust. Andrea’s commute to the farm from her home on Henry Island is often via an hour-long row in her rowing shell, Oystercatcher.
A San Juan Island native, Sam has been working with us at the farm since its early stages of rebirth, while putting himself through school at Oregon State University. Now elevated to Assistant Manager, Sam is never short of ideas for improving the farm. Usually the first one to arrive and the last one to leave, Sam is known to squeeze in some early morning fishing before the long hours at the farm begin.
Retired from a career in the nonprofit world, Bella made her way into our zany world of shellfish farming. Providing some much-needed order to our chaos, Bella has jumped into life on this shellfish farm with flair as she skillfully navigates everything from Shigoku bag construction to oyster shucking demonstrations, and, most importantly, master maker of our barbecue butters. We are grateful to have Bella, with her vast experience in events planning, take on the position of Events Coordinator for our Net Shed. (We are also grateful to be recipients of her extraordinary gardening talents).
Farm Fixture, Sage, Heart of it all
Frank has been with this farm since its heyday in the 1980’s, living through its slow decline in the 2000’s, and single-handedly keeping shellfish available to islanders when the farm shuttered. With a deep knowledge and love for the farm, Frank is the heart of this farm. We’re a little bit scared he might one day actually make good on his desire to retire.