Sylvester Manor throws annual Garlic Shuck & Crab Boil

(Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

(Credit: Monique Singh-Roy)

History, good food and great company come together next Saturday, Oct. 10 at the annual “Shuck and Sing,” aka Garlic Pop and Crab Boil on Shelter Island.

The event takes place at the historic Sylvester Manor Educational Farm and is a kick-off to the weekend’s traditional “Plant & Sing” concert on Sunday.

For years members of the Shelter Island community have joined workers at Sylvester Manor to “shuck” their garlic, which involves separating the bulbs into cloves, which are re-planted in the Manor’s garden. During the process the community shares food and sings songs. This year Sylvester Manor is opening the event to anyone who wants to get involved for the first time.

“The crab boil portion started last year when employees of Full Circle Crab Company were vacationing on Shelter Island,” said Kim Folks, the Manor’s Development Manager. “They said we love what you’re doing and we want to support this place, so they donated four bushels of crabs. Now they’ve offered to do it again this year.”

Full Circle Crab Company is a full service seafood market based in Columbia, N.C. The company buys fish and seafood from local fishermen, supporting the local fishing industry while supplying seafood to locals and tourists.

Along with the garlic shucking and crab boil, a member of the Manor will lead everyone through a series of “Work Songs as they shuck.”

“Work songs are songs that go back to the historical roots of America in terms of getting through tasks that were methodical and repetitive,” Ms. Folks said. “Many songs are well known from back in the days of working in the fields.”

Both the garlic shuck and crab boil will take place at the manor’s farmstand. The meal is B.Y.O.B. and along with crabs, will include potatoes and corn, served on plastic covered tables with plenty of hammers and nutcrackers.

“It’s a really nice way to share a meal with people and have them learn a little bit of history as they participate in the garlic shucking,” Ms. Folks said. “And it really is super helpful, because we would never be able to do as much shucking if it weren’t for the people who help us prepare it for planting. It’s really fun.”

Sylvester Manor’s Second Annual Garlic Shuck and Crab Boil will take place Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at its farmstand located at 21 Manwaring Road on Shelter Island.

Crab Boil tickets are $25 per person. To purchase tickets go to

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