Earnest McIntosh, Sr. cleans a rack of tiny oysters in cages he and his son Earnest, Jr. tend near Harris Neck, Ga.
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Earnest McIntosh, Sr. cleans a rack of tiny oysters in cages he and his son Earnest, Jr. tend near Harris Neck, Ga.

There's no future in crabbing.

That's the conclusion Earnest McIntosh, Sr. came to when his son, Ernest McIntosh, Jr. said he wanted to work with his father on the water near their home in Harris Neck, Ga., in McIntosh County. 

"I couldn't see a future into crabbing. But I could see it into oysters," McIntosh, Sr. said. 

On The Water: Farming Oysters On The Georgia Coast

That's farmed oysters. Earnest Sr. grew up watching his father work on a crab boat. Earnest Jr. did the same with his dad. Tending to metal cages of oysters spread around the marshland that they lease is what they are hoping will allow them to continue the tradition. 

Mashama Bailey is a fan. Bailey is the head, James Beard Award nominated chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. Harris Neck oysters are the first item on the online menu for the restaurant.

On a drive from Savannah to Florida, Bailey said she caught the odor of Harris Neck oysters on the wind. 

"They're marshy and funky but they're also clean and salty at the same time," Bailey said. 

In this short film, head out onto the water near Harris Neck where the oysters are farmed with Bailey and the McIntoshes. 

https://youtu.be/ajczezNDtxM

Earnest McIntosh, Jr., right, grew up watching his father, Earnest Sr., left, at work on a crab boat on the waters near their home in McIntosh County. Today they are trying to make a go of farming oysters together.
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Earnest McIntosh, Jr., right, grew up watching his father, Earnest Sr., left, at work on a crab boat on the waters near their home in McIntosh County. Today they are trying to make a go of farming oysters together.
Thigh high rubber boots are a key tool of the oyster farming trade in the muddy tidal marshes of Georgia.
Caption
Thigh high rubber boots are a key tool of the oyster farming trade in the muddy tidal marshes of Georgia.
Mashama Bailey, center, is the executive chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. She buys Harris Neck oysters from the McIntoshes. In fact, they are the first item listed on the online menu for The Grey.
Caption
Mashama Bailey, center, is the executive chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. She buys Harris Neck oysters from the McIntoshes. In fact, they are the first item listed on the online menu for The Grey.
Mashama Bailey, center, is the executive chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. She buys Harris Neck oysters from the McIntoshes. In fact, they are the first item listed on the online menu for The Grey.
Caption
Mashama Bailey, center, is the executive chef at The Grey restaurant in Savannah. She buys Harris Neck oysters from the McIntoshes. In fact, they are the first item listed on the online menu for The Grey.