SEAWEED: commons, literacy, culinary adventures (and so much more)

posted April 2, 2020

“In myth (as well as biology),
the sea is the source that all
things arise from and return
to.” – Paul Pitchford

If you haven’t heard, we Greenhorns are quite the algae allies. Check out our exciting & new(ish) spin-off project, Seaweed Commons! Seeking to form ecologically minded seaweed coalitions through a commons-based approach, support and inform public discourse, increase algal literacy, and set up an appropriately scaled & just seaweed economy.

(Dear designers with laptops and time, Seaweed Commons is seeking a new logo!! Will barter designs for Maine seaweed, nutrient dense, responsibly wild-harvested, and major umami yum for your soups. Contact lydialapporte@gmail.com if you are interested.)

If you are lucky to live coastally…and the shore in your home place is not over crowded…this could be a great place for escaping shelter-in-place: take up contemplative tide pooling, salt-air-breathing, paradigm shift reimagining, and (when back at home) supporting the online sales efforts of any number of responsible edible seaweed producers! Salt Point Seaweedepic Recipe Collection recetly released, Maine Seaweed LLC, and Greenhorns director Severine’s very own Smithereen Farm — visit the dreamy web shop!

Ready to deep dive into the world of seaweed? Sign up for this Introduction to Algae Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) produced by the Algae Technology Educational Consortium and UC San Diego with funding from the Algae Foundation, the National Renewable Energy Lab, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Recent in seaweed scholarship, “Seaweed in the time of Covid” from the illustrious Josie Iselin, author of The Curious World of Seaweed. View her gorgeous website here (and purchase her book if you want to learn more about specific algae species! In a stunning coffee-table-book format).

We hope you’ll take some time to look through our knowledge sharing site, seaweedcommons.org. Marine algae case studies from around the world illustrate the full range of issues from small scale wild harvest of edible seaweeds, traditional uses in Asia and Europe for fertilizer, large scale cutting and machine-harvest of rockweeds, the international corporate players, the range of approaches undertaken by fisheries ministries and the complaints of local communities. We have information about traditional net-based aquaculture systems for nori in Asia and large scale biofuel kelp farms proposed by the US department of energy for federal waters off the Eastern Seaboard. We look into toxic algae blooms, the cultivation of seaweed for biofuels, aquaculture, and the IMTA (Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture) designed to capture the runoff / nutrients from salmon pens around the world. The ‘global archives’ section is especially slimy with diverse seaweed learning!!

Sample recipes from Salt Point Seaweed’s Recipe Collection! Incredible stuff:


June 23rd Greenhorns and Maine Seaweed Exchange present: Wild + Cultivated algae: Seaweed Workshop #1

Join Sarah Redmond and a special guest teacher for a full day session about seaweed! This will include:

– Presentations and Slideshows at the Reversing Hall, field study on the shore.

– Orientation to the inter-tidal and the marine biology found there.

– Introduction to wildcrafting and farming edible seaweeds

– Look at the history of seaweed aquaculture around the world.

– Looking at the potential in Maine: opportunities and risks

– Introduction to the work of Elinor Ostrom on the Commons, and principles of community resource management

– Introduction to species, ecology, ethics, equipment, siting considerations, seasonality, harvest, processing.

– We’ll discuss bio-safety protocols, health and disease management strategies.

– We will talk about local economy, political ecology and learning our lessons from fisheries history in Maine.

– We’ll discuss what kind of policy is needed create a strong, sustainable and resilient sector in Maine that is inviting to young, conservation-minded mariculturists

– We’ll evaluate wild and cultivated products, discuss best practices and market potential

– We will have plenty of time for discussion.

Sarah Redmond is an entrepreneur, innovator, and seaweed farmer on the coast of Maine. Holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Aquaculture from the University of Maine, and a Master’s of Science in Marine Botany from the University of Connecticut, her work has inspired a domestic seaweed revival through her work at NOAA’s Maine Sea Grant program as a farmer, researcher, educator, and research specialist from 2012-2016. A recognized leader in the development of seaweed mariculture, she has helped establish farms and nurseries throughout the Northeast, inspiring others to love, grow, use, and appreciate our native seaweeds. She is currently working as a full-time seaweed farmer to develop a seaweed aquaculture industry in Maine that will produce healthy, nutrient dense sea vegetables, provide economic opportunities to coastal communities, and bring seaweeds to America in a clean, sustainable, and accessible way. She has a 24-acre seaweed farm in Downeast Maine where she cultivates dulse and four different types of kelp.

Farm lunch provided $200/Scholarships available office@greenhorns.org to RSVP


listen: Severine talks seaweed on the BBC

posted September 22, 2017

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Photo Credit: Gordon Chibroski/Press Herald Staff Photographer

Severine spoke to BBC radio in the UK this about the need for an informed and sustainable approach to seaweed farming, one of the fastest growing aquaculture sectors anywhere right now. Listen to her talk about the culinary benefits of seaweed, and tell the story about how she got into seaweed herself on the coast of Maine by getting in literal touch with nature.

Listen to the full programme HERE


ocean forager amanda swimmer live on GH radio this tuesday

posted December 2, 2016

Amanda Swimmer wild-harvests local seaweed in her home in British Columbia to sell for food and medicine. She talks to Greenhorns Radio about local foods, added value products, and the value of our ocean commons on the Heritage Radio Network this TUESDAY DEC 6 at 4:00 p.m.



could kelp trump kale?

posted August 18, 2015

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Gabriela Bradt, a fisheries specialist at the University of New Hampshire, is ready to make Kelp the “Kale of the Sea”.

According to her interview in The Salt:

“The American varieties of kelp and other seaweeds, though, are thought to be milder in flavor than ones found in Asian waters. But they contain the same “nutritional smorgasbord” of other sea plants — they’re packed with vitamins and minerals including iodine, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12.”

Kelp and seaweed are already prominent products in the local scene here in Maine.  With the excitement still building for the Maine Sail Freight, we think you should give it a taste!