Mike dairy farmed for over 30 years, he had a small herd of only about 100 head which became unsustainable due to competition from larger producers and price drops. He sold the cows in 1999 and has been renting the cropland since, however, the buildings remain. Since, the Hable’s have been running Bohemian Ovens Brick Oven Bakery & Restaurant.
The barn was built by his grandparents, who immigrated from what is now the Czech Republic, and has been built on to and repaired over the years. About two years ago, Mike knew that some additional repairs needed to be made to keep the integrity of the building up. In the midst of this, he read a newspaper article about domestic shrimp farming in the inland US and visited another shrimp farm, who had built a new building to grow and raise shrimp. After that visit, he thought about using his existing barn to do something similar. Eventually, he was sold on converting his own barn into a new shrimp haven.
For the next six months, the conversion was undertaken. The stanchions were removed from a part of the barn, the walls were reinforced and insulated, a new wood-fired heating system was installed, concrete poured, and a handmade salt water filtering system connected into the operation. Finally, the pools were installed and shrimp were ordered from the hatchery in Florida.
Admittedly, the first attempt, was a great learning process. And while not many shrimp survived, the lessons were priceless. Here on the farm, we seek to continually learn, as with all previous ventures, each and every day and produce the best product. It isn’t easy or clean, but we sure are having fun!
We are now expanding the operation with more pools, creating a greater capacity for shrimp production. We are also building automatic feeding and monitoring systems to create the most ideal environment for the shrimp.
To order, inquire about visits & workshops: Contact Us. We are only taking orders for local, pickup customers at this time.