This is most interesting. Raising prawns or shrimp is not one of my life experiences. Fresh water prawn aquaculture is common in China but not so much in the U.S.
Will The Prawn Shop be a viable business in the new age of local urban food? Will there be others? What about prawn aquaponics? Stay tuned.
BALTIMORE (AP) — In an old cinderblock building near the foot of 36th Street in Hampden, the latest addition to Baltimore's urban farming push is under construction.
Large tanks, filters, drains and pipes are being fitted into the old building, which for years sat vacant and blighted. This summer, 1,000 larvae of freshwater shrimp, or prawns, will be released into water tanks inside.
The result: a fledgling urban aquaculture business venture called The Prawn Shop.
Once known for sustainability thanks to a towering up-do lacquered with hair spray, Hampden has now refocused a part of its image to greening.
"We are gradually hooking up the space," said Billy Thomas, 24, a founder of the Baltimore Free Farm, which is working with four ecologists, engineers, landscapers and arborists to open the shrimp-raising facility in the farm's new 6,500-square-foot Sustainability Center.
The prawn venture is the latest entry in Maryland's growing aquaculture industry, which last year brought in $3 million in revenues, said Karl Roscher, aquaculture coordinator for the state Department of Agriculture. It is also unique because of its urban setting, on a residential street just off of the Jones Falls Expressway.
"Aquaculture is on the rise here," Roscher said of the industry, which includes farm-raised oysters and crabs.