Tide to Table: Family-run N.S. oyster farm emphasizes sustainability
HALIFAX -- An oyster farm in southwestern Nova Scotia is on a mission to make sure their consumers know exactly where the food they enjoy is coming from.
Nolan D’Eon is better known as ‘the oysterman’ around southwestern Nova Scotia.
“It’s great. I’ve even got a number plate that says ‘The Oysterman,” laughs D’Eon.
Since 1996, D’Eon Oyster Company has been challenging traditional methods of oyster farming with an innovative approach and an eye on shellfish sustainability.
After many years working at sea, D’Eon took a leap of faith and started his own oyster farming company 25 years ago.
“With the kids, we used to go swimming in Eel Lake. They would get cut by oysters, which was a bad thing then, and then I realized… I said to Kim, my wife, ‘someday, I’m going to make a living out of these’,” recalls D’Eon.
D’Eon’s first lease was about five acres of growing space, but over the past 25 years, that has grown to 50 acres of oyster farm in Lower Eel Brook, N.S.
Now, D’Eon Oyster Company ships natural grown oysters to countries around the world – and they truly are a family business.
Nolan’s youngest son Colton D’Eon is the company’s operations manager, and specializes in looking for innovative ways to make the oyster farm more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“We’re ever changing. The science behind growing an oyster doesn’t change a lot, but how we as a company can make changes to become more sustainable.” says Colton D’Eon. “I find oyster farming itself is extremely sustainable, so our practice is on, how can we grow these, or what steps we are going to take moving forward. It’s something that really inspires me.”
Since 2019, every single oyster farmed by the D’Eon’s is processed in the company’s off-grid, solar powered processing barge.
Colton says it’s important for consumers to understand the story behind the food they’re eating.
“We love our customers to know that, number one, it’s our oysters are a quality top-shelf product, grown locally in Nova Scotia, and that they derive from a sustainable source,” explains D’Eon.
When it comes to the future of oyster farming in Lower Eel Brook, Colton is hopeful that his two sons will someday continue growing that their grandfather started.
“It’s sort of a legacy,” says Colton. “I followed in my father’s footsteps, and hopefully they will as well.”
“It took 25 years doing it, but it’s taken it’s time for people to realize that there is an oyster grown in southwest Nova Scotia, and it’s called a D’Eon oyster,” says Nolan.
A company built on family values, with a passion to share Nova Scotia’s oyster aquaculture with the world.
This story is part of CTV News at Five's Tides and Tables series. To see more visit tidesandtables.ca