Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Seaweed!




We're harvesting weed up here in the Coromandel. Seaweed, that is.. The oncoming winter weather has brought us storms.. specifically, Easterlies, which are delivering all kinds of nutritious seaweed to our beach. Trailer loads, in fact. We've spent many hours collecting the stuff in various conditions. Some mornings we drive to a nearby sandy beach, and then we cruise down the beach, throwing individual stalks into the trailer as we trot along. Other times, we go to our nearby rocky cove where there are hundreds of armfuls of it. Sometimes, we're a little late and the sea is starting to take it away again, so we have to grab it back from the receding waves. In any case, it's good stuff. And the dogs love it..



After our fruitful harvest, we have to dry the seaweed so it can be milled and made into seaweed tea fertilizer. So now our chicken run is often bedecked in weed. When it's wet, it shines a pretty green-gold in the morning dew.. after a day or a few, it turns into little black shrively things and that's when it's time to pack it up for milling. Unfortunately, the winter weather that I mentioned before is fickle as a pickle, and a hot sunny afternoon can turn into a downpour in moments, so sometimes we have to be patient with the skies and hope that our seaweed will eventually dry!



The seaweed tea takes months to ferment into fertilizing yumminess, but we are using the bits that we can't hang to dry right away. We have started two new worm farms with it (worms... I gotta tell you all about them someday. They're good guys, those worms!), we've made piles that will become homes for pumpkins and squash. We've spread it around our garden. We've mulched trees. We dug big pits and filled them with weed and grass and branches to slowly compost and one day feed avocado trees. We even nibble on it ourselves sometimes.



So that's seaweed. Stay tuned for upcoming blogs about worms! and feijoas!