NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Like any six-year-old, Graham Mitchell is hard to keep track of, but every week, he can be found in his backyard, taking care of his oyster farm.
“My mom knew I wanted something to take care of and she heard that they were going to give oysters out from the Chesapeake Bay,” said Mitchell. “One day they just arrived in the backyard.”
That day was more than a year ago. Each week since then, Mitchell goes to his backyard and reels in his oyster cage from the river.
“You have to shake them every week and make sure their cage doesn’t have thing-ies on them, like sea squirts,” said Michell.
Heather North, Chesapeake Bay Foundation Oyster Restoration Specialist, has been working with Mitchell over the past year.
“[He’s] definitely the only one I’ve ever heard say that he has named all of his oysters and is going to tuck them in goodnight, said Mitchell. “He’s definitely the most passionate I’ve ever met.”
Mitchell is one of the youngest oyster farmers in Virginia. His passion for raising oysters also helps clean the Chesapeake Bay.
“The oysters filter the water,” said Mitchell. “This water you used to not be able to swim but thanks to the oysters it’s bacterial levels got lower because they cleared it.”