Nick Wenning is not ready to say he could make a living growing shrimp on his farm near Greensburg, but he's not ready to throw in the towel and quit trying, either. He's part of a family farming operation and a family tiling business, and derives his major income from those enterprises. But he started the shrimp venture a few years ago and is still learning what it takes to produce a successful harvest in his farm pond.
He knows shrimp don't like hot weather. However, he made trial catches with nets in early August and says the shrimp seem to be plentiful and growing on schedule. He stocks the pond in the spring with young shrimp he purchases from a supplier. The food is specially formulated because it must float on the water and not sink. Shrimp feed by coming to the surface to get the commercial feed.
He harvests all the shrimp in one day. Anyone who wants to buy shrimp can show up at the farm. Shrimp not sold that day are frozen for use by Wenning and other family members during the year. This year he will harvest shrimp on Saturday, Sept. 8, beginning about noon. The farm is located about three miles east of Greensburg.
Harvesting the shrimp consists of draining the pond where the shrimp live during the summer. He has worked to improve how he catches and handles the shrimp that flow out the spillway once it's opened. He thinks this will make harvest go more smoothly, and be more efficient. The goal is to catch the shrimp as they come out the spillway with the water drained form the pond.
Kids from the area love to come and finish plucking shrimp from the muddy pond bed after the water is out, and a few shrimp remain behind, he says. It has helped shrimp harvest day become a tradition and much-anticipated event in the area.
For more information, call Nick at 812-593-4174, or call his father, Roger, at 812-593-1148.