SURF CITY, N.C. — Although turkey is typically associated with Thanksgiving, oysters once were common on the tables of early American settlers. 

Conor Macnair, an oyster farmer, says October to January is his busiest time of the year. 

What You Need To Know

  • N. Sea Oyster Co. uses a blend of Australian and French farming techniques

  • Oyster farmer Conor Macnair says consumers should get their oyster as fresh as possible and source locally

  • N. Sea Oyster Co. provides pickup Wednesday to offer the freshest oysters for Thanksgiving

Macnair got into oyster farming because of his uncle’s farm on the West Coast. He says sustainability is what drew his interest.

The oysters are cultivated utilizing a mixture of Australian and French oyster farming techniques. They are grown primarily on a 300-foot suspended longline, which keeps the oysters off the bottom, allowing them to grow faster and avoid predators. 

Macnair says his focus is to grow oysters for everyone. 

“That really good, clean, consistent-shaped oyster and the nice meat, that's easy to open — like something that's approachable for everybody,” Macnair said. 

This year, the N. Sea Oyster Co. is doing a Thanksgiving pre-order. They offer shipping and pickup in order to provide their oysters in the freshest way possible. 

“Really like to think that we specialize in being a small farm, a small family farm that kind of will do anything to get you the freshest oysters possible,” Macnair said. 

Macnair says that people should look to get their oysters as close to harvest time as possible and that sourcing locally is the best way to get them. 

“Eating locally means that you're getting them fresh and getting them freshest is the healthiest way to eat oysters,” Macnair said. 

After getting the best oysters in the kitchen you may wonder how to get them ready to serve. Macnair says that oysters can be prepared in many ways but it's all up to preference. 

He suggests oysters with a mignonette, barbecued or even enjoyed in stuffing. 

A recipe to Macnair’s suggested oyster stuffing can be found here.

This year, the N. Sea Oyster Co. is providing pickup on Wednesday to offer the freshest oysters for Thanksgiving. 

More about Macnair and his oysters can be found on the N. Sea Oyster Co. website.