A planned trip to the ocean near Lissadell, Co. Sligo bore fruit yesterday. I was hoping for company but the task fell to myself alone. I told a few people of my location and brought my mobile phone, which I kept in my pocket. Unfortunately the rain coat has a deep pocket and it ended up getting wet, no use at all if you are stranded on rocks with an incoming tide. So please learn from my mistake and put your phone in a plastic bag when sea foraging.
Yes I had a tide time table telling me the times of the low tide and I was there nice and early just before low tide. You can go a little earlier and walk out with the tide to find your harvest. After I had been there an hour or so I had found sugar kelp, sea spaghetti, although a little mature and lots of sea grass and lettuce. Not so much as would make you wonder if the spot is polluted but enough for my purposes. A fair bit of carageen also, however I wasn’t looking for that. I picked up a few unfamiliar plants also to check out when I got home. One of them was sargassum (muticum). I remember watching a documentary some years ago about the Sargasso Sea, which featured marine life living on this mass of seaweed.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargasso_Sea . The plant is rich in minerals especially magnesium according to Dr. Prannie Rhatigan. Her book Irish seaweed Kitchen is an essential read for anyone interested in this type of foraging.
I love the taste of sea grass, yom yom.
Another new sea vegetable for me is egg rack Ascophyllum nodosum ,
I actually thought it was bladder rack until I checked it in Prannie’s book.
Looking forward to the next trip, hopefully in September where I will be looking for wakame, Alaria esculenta although there might not be a lot as it grows in winter. Remember to harvest sustainable, bring a sharp knife and leave a good bit of the plant from the root for regrowth.. Move about especially with the small seaweeds like channelled rack and only take a bit from each. It’s just like gardening with a great sea view.