When it comes to seaweed, I'm not very scientific. Some people ask me what types I use and what nutritional value each type has. I don't have any idea. I just figure it all grows in the ocean, the ocean is rich in minerals and nutrients, therefore all seaweed must be good...rich in minerals and nutrients! However, over the past few years I've been gathering seaweed and I've figured some things out on my own....what works good and what does not....so I do have some likes and dislikes ......
LIKE: seaweed that has been washed up to the high tide mark and is mixed with sand, shells, leaves, etc.
DO NOT LIKE: seaweed that is mixed with rocks and sticks.....too much work!
LIKE: seaweed that's in a big heap or row....it's fast and easy....and you can fill up garbage cans in a hurry.
DO NOT LIKE: seaweed that's in the water. It's too heavy and drips saltwater all over everything. (BTW, people ask me about the salt all the time. Seaweed does not have salt in it. The only salt that comes with the seaweed is what's on the outside of it, and that will wash away with our rain in no time at all. In fact, many vegetables like a little salt! So, you do not need to rinse off the saltwater.) It's best to gather seaweed at low tide.
LIKE: Alder leaves. This time of year there are quite a few alder leaves mixed in the seaweed. Leaves do not provide a tremendous amount of nutrition to your soil, but they do provide organic material....a nice soil builder....and carrots love them!
DO NOT LIKE: hairy seaweed. It seems to take a long time to break down and easily fouls my rototiller.
LIKE: All of the other types of seaweed that comes in many different shapes and colors....
DO NOT LIKE: The root wad from bull kelp. It takes a long, long, long time to break down. Seriously....... I had one in my compost pile for like 2 years!
LIKE AND DISLIKE: sea grass. I don't mind it mixed in the pile, but I wouldn't want straight sea grass...
LIKE: All the exercise and fresh air I get while on the beach. I could pay for a gym membership and pay someone else to haul the seaweed for me, but I find that gathering it myself is just what the doctor ordered!
p.s. don't tell my chiropractor I said that!
THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.
To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:
P O Box 6021
Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org