Erin on the farm

Erin on the farm

Yep, that’s me. A 30-something, Nashville-based editor and freelance writer. In 2009, while living in Boston, I  took a break from the media world to work on an oyster farm for 18 months. 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.

Friendly Buzz
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

USA Today
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

My writing
In my non-oyster life, I am the managing editor of Nashville Lifestyles magazine and freelance for various publications like Food & Wine, Modern Farmer and Thrillist. Here are a few clips.

15 Delicious Oysters,” Thrillist, February 2014
Meet the Nashville Chef who also Raises his own Beef,” Modern Farmer, November 2013
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

Contact me:
murray.erinb@gmail.com