Looking to learn about sustainable aquaponics and how to harvest crawdads for a delicious meal? Look no further than this exciting video from Lindsey at Lynette Zang’s Urban Farm! In this video, Lindsey shares the joys of our first-ever crawdad harvest, and the lessons we have learned about raising these crustaceans in an aquaponic system.
Chef Jayson also provides insight into cooking these crawdads to perfection, with helpful tips on flavoring the water and cooking times. With this video, you’ll be able to harvest your own crawdads in no time and enjoy a sustainable, delicious meal! Come along and join Lindsey and the team at the Urban Farm as they go beyond gold and silver, and delve into the world of sustainable aquaponics.
0:00 How We Grew Crawdads
1:27 Know Your Population Numbers
2:44 Harvesting Crawdads
4:40 Processing and Cooking
TRANSCRIPT FROM VIDEO:
Hi everyone, my name is Lindsey and I’m here at the Urban Farm. And today I wanted to share with you something really exciting. We are doing our first ever crawdad harvest.
If you think that the world is headed in a direction that makes you a bit concerned for the future and you’d like to be as self-sufficient and independent as possible. Then you’ve come to the right place. My name is Lynette Zang. Now it’s time to go Beyond Gold and Silver.
You can see these are some crawdads we have already caught and they live here in our aquaponic system. So this is one of our aquaponic tanks. And we started these crawdads out in. We bought a huge bag of them and we dumped it all in. And unfortunately that was a bit of a miscalculation because we think a lot of them were probably deceased in the bag and this could have caused the ammonia to spike. But something happened, all of them almost died. We had at least one or two survivors because they repopulated this entire tank, which was an amazing surprise. Not something we were counting on, but definitely a pleasant surprise. And since then we’ve done a few population checks and now is finally the time that we are gonna be harvesting some of these crawdads.
It’s really important no matter what kind of aquaponic system you’re working with, that you know your population numbers. For example, if you take too many males, you can see here that the larger ones tend to be male. Oh, he’s grabbing on. The males have this part between their back two legs and that’s how you can distinguish them from the females and the males tend to be bigger. But you wanna make sure when you’re harvesting that you’re not just harvesting the absolute biggest ones because those could all be males. Let me show you a female here. So this one’s a little bit smaller and as you can see, there’s the absence of that organ between her two back legs. So regardless if you’re harvesting fish or when we do crawdads, you just wanna make sure that you’re keeping a relatively even population number. I’m not too worried regardless in this system because we have a lot of young crawdads. So we already have a good point to work from. And I drained this really low so I can see all of them and just get a better idea of what we’re working with. And we’ve already harvested the big ones that came out to fight.
And I’m just gonna scoop up a few more. You can kind of see they’ll move. So there’s that guy in there and we will add him to the bunch. And I’m just gonna harvest a few more. So crawdads in their natural environment.
They live in mucky, murky water, usually in the shallower parts. So this is their ideal ecosystem is having a little bit of muck to hide in. You can see there, oh, and there is one of the smaller ones as well. So we have lots of different sizes, which is really advantageous for rebuilding the population. And once we harvest enough, I’m going to refill the pond back up. I’m gonna leave this layer. This has all that beneficial bacteria, that healthy bacteria in the water and they like to hide in it. So this is just their ideal ecosystem, but we’ll fill it up with some clean water and that’ll give them a new fresh start for where the seasons to come. And these crawdads are going to the kitchen where Jason is going to make them into a meal for Lynette. And she is very excited and we are all really pleasantly surprised by how efficient and how quickly these crawdads have reproduced and turned into a very sustainable aquaponically raised food source.
And you can see if you get real close, you can see that kind of chunky stuff at the bottom. That’s them regurgitating. The point of the clean bath is the clean water helps them expel everything and and you gotta change it two or three times. And then the last one you put a little bit of salt. Now this actually helps speed up that process. But I’m pretty sure that freshwater animals don’t love a ton of salt in their water and we want to make ’em as comfortable as we can until we throw ’em in the pot. You know, like, yeah, the end is horrible, but till the end we try to make ’em as comfortable as possible. So you can see they’re just kind of chilling in there right now. So now we’re just gonna drain this out. This has been sitting for about an hour. This is I think the third or fourth rinse. So we’re just gonna drain this water out cause we don’t want that dirty water going in our stock. Yep. Now these guys are ready to go in.
How long will you cook them for?
It’s gonna return to boil and it’s gonna be about three minutes or so.
And what did you put in the water to flavor it?
We always want to flavor water. That’s or season the water. That’s something that is a big difference between home cook and chef. So we threw some onion in there, some bay leaf, a lime I think there’s some garlic in there. And then a big handful of salt. You always wanna salt your water whether you’re doing rice or pasta or boiling crawfish. So this is gonna come back to a boil pretty quick. And then, yeah, about two or three minutes. I mean these are very small and you saw how quickly it was less than 10 seconds, those things stopped moving and there’s like lobster you can dispatch. You know that’s a big thing. You can, you dispatch it by going right through its head and it kills it instantly. This is about as instant as you can get with these other than going through and cutting each head. But this is how they do it down south. Maybe not the lime, but <laugh> and and old bay. We’re not doing old bay on these cause we’re gonna do a scampy, little bit of garlic, little bit of butter. Probably finish it with the little grated egg yolk and some scallions. I think that’ll be our dish. So yeah, there you go.