Oyster 🦪 LOVE 💕: History has it that Louis XIV had his oysters 🦪 brought to Versailles from Cancale. Centuries later, the farming of oysters is still a culturally symbolic and critical activity in the port. Oyster beds cover about 7.3 square kilometers (about 4.5 miles square), easily seen from the pier at the harbor. These beds harvest about 25,000 tons of oysters each year.
More than one hundred million flat oysters being extracted from the bay each year, Louis XVI published in 1787 an ordinance regulating the dredging of oysters to avoid the exhaustion of the natural deposit: every spring around the Easter period, the bisquines (fishing boats), over-stowed to have enough power, were allowed to dredge the oysters for about two weeks.
As soon as the guards signaled, a flotilla of 200 bisquines set off; this spectacle was called the caravan. At high tide, they came to unload their catch (empty shells and oysters) in the port, the piles of each boat being sorted at low tide by local women. Wild oysters could grow huge and were then called horse feet (see my video for an example when I pan to the right, “Pied de Cheval.”)
Before the Second World War , the boats went sailing and replaced by trawlers and canoes with a motor. Every day, the boats of the Maritime Affairs monitored the limited fishing time, generally from 6 am to 18h.
Today oyster boats are large barges with a flat aluminum bottom.
I appreciate your patience as I move into a new rhythm in the countryside. I don’t have the resources I do in Paris, and I have 3 acres to fuss over now. Please be patient! I set a standard during the road trip that I can’t quite keep up the same pace – but I’m trying! 🥰🥰
I think that if I have another week or two, I will have “her” (perhaps the house needs a name?) in a place that I can start posting again on the regular.
For now, I will be sharing all, good, bad, and ugly, via my newsletter. Sign up in my bio! ☝️
Bisous and big hugs 🤗 from France,