Yep, that’s me. A 30-something, Boston-based editor and freelance writer who took a break from the media world to work on an oyster farm for 18 months. In 2009, I somehow convinced Skip Bennett and the growers at Island Creek Oysters in Duxbury, MA to let a completely unprepared, aquaculture-illiterate food and lifestyle writer work for them to learn the business of bivalves.
The Plan: Ditch the cushy, work-at-home gig as Boston editor of DailyCandy.com. Lose the wardrobe. Give up sleeping in. Pick up a job as a farm hand. Dig in the mud, plant and harvest oysters. Play in the water when it’s warm. Play in the water when it’s really f*ing cold. Watch an oyster grow. Follow it from farm to table. Learn about farmers and the business of food. Pick up valuable life lessons along the way.
And whaddya know, I wrote a book. SHUCKED: Life on a New England Oyster Farm was released by St. Martin’s Press in October 2011.
The Farm: I think they can do a better job telling you than I can. Here’s a nugget from their site.
Some of the nice things folks are saying about Shucked and Island Creek.
What folks are saying about SHUCKED…
The Splendid Table
Feb 18, 2012: An interview with Lynne Rossetto Kasper
ABC 7 Chicago
March 2, 2012: An interview with Steve Dolinksy
December 29, 2011: 10 Great Places to Savor Oysters, by Larry Bleiberg
“Part of the book’s charm is following Murray through the process of becoming aware of her surroundings in working directly with an edible product. Readers who enjoy Linda Greenlaw’s writing…will appreciate Murray’s offering of just enough information to allow them to become knowledgeable in all things oyster without overdoing it. …Murray’s portrayal of her personal response to life’s changes and challenges will hold readers’ interest. An entertaining and informative firsthand experience of the locavore movement.” –Library Journal
“Murray’s own love of food and food writing informs the narrative, and she skillfully dramatizes the scenes of summertime sowing and depicts her many colorful co-workers. Murray eschews poetic waxing on her subject and focuses closely on the action and the hard, hard work …” –Publishers Weekly
In my non-oyster life, I freelance for various publications like Boston magazine, Food & Wine, and Edible Boston. Here are a few clips.
“Swim-Up Dinner Party,” Food & Wine, August 2012
“An Older, Posher Bonnaroo,” The Atlantic online, June 2012
“Earth Mothers,” Edible Boston, Summer 2012
“Success, Squared,” Boston Magazine, February 2012
“Jody Under Construction,” Boston Magazine, September 2011
“Oysters: An Odyssey,” Food & Wine, August 2011
“Serving Up Sustainability,” Edible Boston, Summer 2011
“Give the Pig a Break,” Boston Magazine, July 2011
“Honey Love,” Yoga Journal Mar. 2010
“Eco Challenge: Eating Local,” Body & Soul, Jul./Aug. 2009
“The Knives Come Out,” Boston Magazine, Oct. 2008
“Some of These Sommeliers’ Wines are Older Than They Are,” Boston Globe Food Section, Oct. 2007
“Fired Up,” Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Sept. 2007
“Tails of the City,” Boston Magazine, July 2006