Noxubee County, Miss.[WCBI]-Mississippi is one of the top producers of freshwater prawns. The aqua crop grown locally, like catfish is beginning to show up more frequently on dinner plates in restaurants.
As the weather begins to cool off on a Noxubee County prawn farm, the pond is drained and is now empty. The produce transported to a Starkville restaurant has made it’s way onto plates and being prepared as seafood dishes. Prawns are harvested before the water gets below 50 or 60 degrees.
“Somewhere around the end of May when water temperatures is consistently 70 degrees, you put in the juveniles. And then somewhere around the first of October, first half of October when you see temperatures drop down, you have to harvest or you could harvest a little before then if you want to,” said Jack Heurkamp, Prawn Farmer.
Starkville restaurant owner and chef Ty Thames has been busy crafting tasty prawn dishes similar to those of shrimp.
“So far he has gone through one weekend of selling the prawns and he said they just had excellent response from what he had,” said Heurkamp.
“We bought 268 pounds of them and so the kitchen was quite busy trying to bag them all up and store them fresh,” said Ty Thames, Starkville Restaurant Owner.
Prawn farming resulting in seafood eaten at local eateries, is becoming an economic dish served up that’s more and more appealing.
Its not just by eating at our restaurants, but its by the restaurants that get their product from local sources as well. And that’s really what eating local is all about. Is the sustainability of your community and keeping the money here at home,” said Thames.
For Huerkamp harvesting prawns is sort of a hobby. He harvested a total of eleven hundred pounds of produce this season.