Tim Holbrook on the cover of Billboard Magazine width=
Tim Holbrook circa 1993

It should be no surprise to any reader that in another life I was most likely destined to be an oyster farmer. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out that way, and I have begrudgingly accepted my fate to make a living on dry land. 

However, Tim Holbrook gives me confidence that my dream is still possible. Before being starting one of the largest oyster farms in North Carolina, Masonboro Oyster Reserve Co. Holbrook has had a versatile life. Having had both a storied career as a music producer, and a career path for a family-owned tours Bus Field Trips, Holbrook has had quite an unorthodox path that lead him to harvesting bivalves.

So what is a music producer, who has worked with acts like Smashing Pumpkins, George Clinton, and The Black Crowes, and who once landed himself on the cover of Billboard Magazine doing farming oysters? In short, he’s cleaning North Carolina’s waters in the most delicious way possible. 

I recently sat down with Holbrook, and during our conversation, Tim and I chatted about why North Carolina—which could be the Napa Valley of oysters—is lagging behind Virginia in oyster production, how his farm was impacted by Hurricane Florence, the potential for the North Carolina Oyster Trail, and why you actually can eat oysters in months that don’t have an R.

Lead image Courtesy of Benjamin Schachtman of Port City Daily

***If listening to this on mobile, you might have to be persistent and click the play button a few times.