[USA] Middle school students in Herring Gut Learning Center’s seaweed aquaculture program were recently treated to a visit from Jean Guyette of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables (MCSV), which offers sustainably harvested and certified organic seaweed products. Jean provided an overview of the history of the company, which began in 1971 by Shep Erhart and his wife Linette after learning about the immense health benefits of sea vegetables. Since then, the company has grown to employ over 40 people which handle around 100,000 pounds of seaweed every year.
Herring Gut students had the opportunity to sample many MCSV products, including the popular “Kelp Crunch” bars, and create some of their own sea vegetable seasoning blends using kelp and dulse. One of the most popular products was the applewood smoked dulse. Along with sampling products, students also learned what goes into creating and selling a product, from food safety requirements and regulations to selecting the right kind of packaging to draw in the consumer.
The students and Jean “talked shop” while giving her a tour of their seaweed farm and explaining the process of growing kelp aquaculturally. They discussed many of the similarities between their two operations, including the challenge of drying kelp after it is harvested. After their tour, Jean said, “I am inspired by the young harvesters. Their enthusiasm, knowledge and willingness to share their experience gives me great hope for the future of seaweed in the Gulf of Maine.”
Maine Coast Sea Vegetable products are available in local stores, such as the Good Tern Co-op as well as on their website www.seaveg.com.
The students in the seaweed aquaculture program at Herring Gut are growing kelp on a micro farm in the lobster pound on our campus. In the spring when they harvest their kelp, they will be tasked with creating a product. As inspiration for their final product, students are researching different companies in Maine that use seaweed. If you are a company that uses seaweed and are interested in speaking with the class, please contact us at (207) 372-8677.
Founded in 1999, Herring Gut Learning Center is a non-profit education center in Port Clyde, Maine that partners with public schools to engage students, teachers, and the public in hands-on aquaculture and marine science programs, provides professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers, and offers a summer first work experience for young teens.
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