2016 - Volume #40, Issue #1, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Shrimp Farm Thrives In An Old Barn
Curtis and his sons are now the proud operators of Tasty Harvest Shrimp, a farm operation that raises, sells and delivers what they believe is the freshest, most delicious shrimp on the market. The Curtis family stakes that claim on the fact that their shrimp are free of sulfites, hormones and antibiotics, ingredients that many other farm-raised seafood might contain. The majority are sold fresh to individuals or to restaurants and stores in Boston and greater Massachusetts.
Curtis was a public school music teacher for 9 years and left that work to become a programmer analyst. Within a few years, he and his sons, Adam and Josh, started the shrimp business. Josh has a minor in Marine Biology and has bred more than 10 different species of saltwater fish. Their business raises whiteleg vannamel shrimp in 19 saltwater tanks.
The Curtis family says shrimp from Tasty Harvest is better because it isn’t subjected to further processing and flash freezing like most products in a store. Shrimp are produced in tanks where 90,000 gal. of water are recycled daily to prevent pathogen growth.
Curtis and his sons learned that in order to create a warm acquatic environment they’d need a cost efficient system in a well-insulated building. After looking at several facilities they settled on an old barn that was large, affordable and available. They insulated the walls and ceiling with blown-in fiberglass, then installed a positive air flow system with pre-heated air to reduce humidity, mold and heating costs. Radiant zone heating in the floor keeps tank water at 84 to 86 degrees. That level of warmth is needed because the shrimp they raise are native to the warmer waters of the eastern Pacific near Baja, Calif. Curtis priced different types of fuel and determined that LP, using a 98 percent efficient boiler, would be more cost effective than heating oil.
Another benefit of the Curtis system is that all waste the shrimp produce is consumed by bacteria in the water. They don’t release water into the environment. The farm hopes to ramp up production soon and produce about 300 lbs. of fresh shrimp a week.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tony Curtis, Tasty Harvest Shrimp, 71 Lee St., West Boylston, Mass. 01583 (ph 508 835-1111; www.tastyharvestshrimp.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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