While most farmers harvest their crop around this time of year, Eiselstein will be harvesting his prawn to be sold to and prepared in local restaurants such as Kravitz Deli, Cafe Cimmento, Pho Saigon and the Springfield Grill. The prawn will also be retailed in Catullo Prime Meats and the Village Pantry of Poland, owned by Eiselstein.
The 20011 Youngstown Shrimp Harvest is the target for Eiselstein’s effort to bring attention to the utilization of Youngstown’s unused tracts of land.
Eiselstein feels that by developing parcels of Youngstown’s vacant land as on the Eastside, it will spark commerce, such as food production and tourism.
The Shrimp Harvest, which is in its first year, kicks off at the Poland Library at 5:30 p.m. this Friday where Kravitz Deli will prepare Eiselstein’s prawn.
During the event, there will also be a showing of two documentaries on aqua culture from Ohio and Kentucky State Universities and performances by a jazz ensemble made up of alumni from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.
Long before raising the giant Malaysian prawn, Eiselstein grew up in the Philippines where his family ran a coconut plantation. He said that while living there, he enjoyed going to the farm and from those experiences, developed a passion for cultivating land.
Around three years ago, Eiselstein began growing giant Malaysian prawn in ponds he constructed on the Eastside of Youngstown.
“I love land and Youngstown is rural on the Eastside and it’s pristine and aside from the abandoned houses and the illegal dumping, it’s beautiful land,” Eiselstein said.
Eiselstein explained that by building the shrimp ponds, the ecosystem in the surrounding areas has become more vibrant, filled with different birds, frogs, snakes and appearances from the Great Blue Heron.
While the ponds have influenced the neighboring animal life, they are also embodying the characteristics of real life aquaculture, which is the farming and cultivation of aquatic animals or plants for food. Eiselstein explained that one of the greatest expanding parts of agriculture is aqua culture.
“Instead of depleting and ruining the oceans we could now go green,” Eiselstein said.
While mentioning the green aspects of aquaculture, Eiselstein said that the ponds, which capacitate around 2,000 to 4,000 prawns, are also certified green by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Photo by Melissa Mary Smith, Town Crier correspondent
Poland businessman Ron Eiselstein looks over one of six ponds on Youngstown’s Eastside that he is using to raise and harvest prawn, a freshwater marine crustacean that resembles large shrimp.