On Sunday I went on a fabulous seaside foraging trip with my friends Natalie and Patch and Patch’s little girl Lily. Patch is an expert ‘in the field’ of foraging and very kindly offered to take us on an expedition to gather from the bountiful seashore.
So off we went to sunny Weymouth!
It really is amazing how much free and densely nutritious food we are surrounded with and seaweed is no exception. It is a ‘living food’ which can easily be used in cooking, added to any dish or dried for preservation.
Abundant in vitamins such as iodine, calcium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamin C and E to name a few. Seaweed and kelp are now common place in health food stores, it’s also free if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea!
It was so inspiring to learn from Patch that pretty much all seaweed is edible there are just a few guidelines to follow to ensure you are harvesting in a safe and sustainable way:
- Always take seaweed from rocks not that which has been washed up on the beach
- Make sure there are no waste pipes or sewerage outlets
- Best harvested as the tide is starting to go out so you don’t have to go too far
- Harvest from different plants to ensure it keeps growing
- Cut off some of the leaves not at the roots to ensure the survival of the plant
It felt so healthy to be out in nature and really connecting, not only with mother nature but also our roots linking back to how our ancestors would have hunted and gathered.
We did do some foraging too honest!
We harvested 4 kinds of seaweed altogether
Kelp this one is Oarweed
Serrated Wrack or Sea Oak
Grass Kelp or Gut Weed (green) and another one which we haven’t managed to identify yet
We returned back to Patch’s for a harvested super having gathered 4 types of seaweed, some samphire, fat hen and some hairy monsters (the proper name of which escapes me!)
We then went back to our own homes armed with enough seaweed to dry ourselves. Patch explained the process to us which is very simple.
- Wash the seaweed you have harvested
- Squeeze the excess water out
- The finer seaweed can be spread out on cloth or a rack and placed inside over night and outside in the shade during the day
- The serrated rack and thicker seaweeds can be tied and hung from a suitable spot in your kitchen
- Leave for about 5 days or until fully dehydrated and bag and store in the cupboard
The seaweed can be added to hot dishes and salads.
What a wonderful experience and one that I encourage you to experience for yourselves. Seaweed is an incredibly nutritious, delicious food source and what’s more it’s free!
Ahhh tis a good day to be alive!
…. not forgetting seaweed fashion accessories