Seafood, Fish and Oysters
This week we're introducing you to our new Fish Vendor, Catch of the Hamptons seafood. Julie and Ray Lofstad are a 5th generation commercial fishing family from the Port of Shinnecock in Hampton Bays. Julie says: Our business is truly a family affair, with our daughter Olivia working markets and fish mongering since she was 7 years old.
I’ve known Julie for several years, their fish is always fresh and delicious and I believe they will serve our Market just as well as Violets Cove and Alices Fish Market (either of whom couldn’t be with us this season)
As we walked out towards the boat, Julie told me: their Fishing Vessel, Ocean Fresh, sets out most days, weather permitting. A fishing trip can be a short day trip, or a much longer trip to fishing grounds located 100 miles offshore, depending on the time of year. Fishermen fish in all kinds of weather and fishing is considered to be one of the most dangerous jobs on earth! To be successful, a good captain keeps records of previous years fishing trips - noting where the fish were and where they weren’t!
Linda: How do you learn how to be a commercial fishermen?
Julie: Many fishing families are generational, so knowledge is passed down through sons and daughters. Ray's great grandfather was a whale harpoonist in Norway, and our family has been in the fishing business ever since.
We are regulated by both New York State and federally under National Marine Fisheries Service and must adhere to all requirements when catching and selling our fish. When you buy our seafood at a farmers market, you know where your fish was caught and who caught it.
Linda: What does a typical day look like for you out on the water?
Julie: Captains of small family owned businesses such as ours don't just pilot the boat. We cook meals for crew, we sew nets (yes, my husband is much better at sewing that I ever will be!), we fix equipment in the middle of the ocean, sometimes using duct tape and zip ties, and we make sure that the crew comes home safely at the end of the trip.
Linda: What kinds of fish do you catch?
Julie: The fish we catch consists of varied species, depending on what we are permitted to land and what season it is. We send a good portion of our catch to the new Hunts Point Regional Fish Market, and from there our fish is shipped all over the world.
Linda: When did you start working Farmers Markets?
Julie: We started working farmers markets about 15 years ago. We decided to do this for a couple reasons. Fishing is a tough business, and any extra income is always helpful. The other reason is that we believe our neighbors should have access to the freshest wild caught seafood available.
Linda: What do you enjoy most about your wonderful family owned and operated business?
Julie: The best part of my day is when a customer at a farmers market realizes that our family actually owns and works on the boat that the fish was caught from. We are truly 'Boat to Table!”
As I was leaving, Julie said to me “We look forward to participating in the Three Village Farmers Market.” I got chills. The drive home gave me time to ponder and appreciate the really hard work of this fishing family.
We have come to the end of our article, covering our time with Julie Lofstad. I hope this article has given you some in-site into the seafood business which I am really excited to share with you all. Be sure to stop by and say welcome to Julie, Ray and Olivia at the Market on Opening Day, June 3rd and pick-up some fresh fish for dinner.
ALL ABOUT LONG ISLAND SEAFOOD
This week we are also announcing: on the first Friday of each month, Cornell Cooperative Extension Fisheries Specialist Kristin Gerbino will be joining us for cooking demonstrations and sharing recipes for some popular local fish as well as introducing you to some less familiar, underutilized and highly sustainable fish species on Long Island. She’ll give you tips for picking out the best piece and ideas on cooking delicious and nutritious local seafood meals.
Keep up to date with Cornell Cooperative on Facebook @LocalLongIslandFISH or on Instagram - long.island.fish
And finally, welcome North Fork Oyster Company:
Tom and Morgan have an oyster farm located in Long Island Sound, 5 Miles east of Mt. Sinai Harbor, 1/2 mile off shore in 30 feet of water. They purchase small oyster seeds and place them in cages on the bottom of Long Island sound for approximately 18 month to bring them to harvest size. Their oysters are considered to be one of the best on Long Island and can be found on the menu at The Grand Central Oyster Bar in New York City.
Did you know? Oysters are only 50 calories per 1/2 dozen, yet high in Vitamin B12, Selenium, Vitamin D, Iron and Copper, oysters are Nature’s nutritional grand slam. Indulge in oysters knowing that you are doing good for your overall health!
Exquisitely sweet and & briny, these Sound Sweets will change your life.
Join us on Fridays starting in June! We're so excited for our amazing community Farmers Market coming soon--please help spread the word.
Opening Day, June 3rd from 3-7pm
Ribbon Cutting 2:30
Let's talk! For more information contact Linda Johnson at 631.901.7151