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Meet the Farmers

Published by Eve Palmer, 8 Jan 2020

Here at AKUA, we cherish our incredible seaweed farmers. Scroll through to learn more about them!

Colleen, Summit Point Seafood

Colleen is a farmer at Summit Point Seafood. She also happens to be one of AKUA’s beloved farmers! We took some time to ask her a few questions, read about her farming experience below.

1. What does an average day look like for you?

Either working on the lobster boat, fishing for menhaden, and managing our farms start-up. This is our first year farming, so I am also building the structure moorings, lines, and buoys for our farm for this fall. An average day can look like many different things, but mainly they are just busy!

2. Why did you get involved in seaweed farming?

Years ago, I helped build the first kelp farms in Maine with a gentleman named Tollef Olson. He was interested in creating a new industry in Maine, and I was there with him at the right time and right place to see, and really create, the birthplace of this now growing coastal industry.

3. What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

I love working on the water, there is a freedom that comes with this work. We may work hard, from sunrise to sunset, but the joy is that we actually get to see them.

4. Tell us a crazy fact about seaweed that most people wouldn’t know.

Seaweed farming is a positive way to help clean our coastal waterways and combat ocean acidification as well as our ongoing climate problem.

5. What do you hope to see in the seaweed community in the next five years?

I hope to see more awareness around seaweed and seaweed products in the next five years, which will translate into a stronger market and therefore more farms, opportunity for coastal communities, and healthier coastlines. Awareness is what will make the potential for growth and change possible.

 

Morgan, Nautical Farms

Morgan Fogg is our resident farmer here at AKUA. Her and her husband run Nautical Farms in Maine, read more below on all things seaweed farming!

1. What does an average day look like for you?

I don’t think there is an average day seaweed farming! You never know what’s going to happen when you mix Mother Nature, an ocean, and boats. My best advice is to be prepared for anything!

2. Why did you get involved in seaweed farming?

I first got interested in seaweed when I realized how awesome it was for the environment. I got super excited and started to figure out ways I could be involved when I realized seaweed was also incredibly healthy for humans and animals, and had so many uses that spanned across all different industries.

3. What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

My favorite things about seaweed farming is that we get to work with nature. It’s usually quite cold during farming season, but what could be cooler (pun intended) than being out on the ocean with the seals and other marine wildlife?

4. Tell us a crazy fact about seaweed that most people wouldn’t know.

I think a lot more people are starting to eat seaweed, but I don’t think many people realize that seaweed and algae actually make up the base of our food chain. They are also what make our planet breathable and give life to so much diversity. Without seaweed and algae’s we would be living on a different planet.

5. What do you hope to see in the seaweed community in the next five years?

Growth! We have so much industry growth to do here in the US, which is really exciting! We all have the opportunity to lend a hand in building an incredibly sustainable agriculture industry. Something that our grandkids will thank us and be proud of us for.

 Rich, Chatham Kelp

1. What does an average day look like for you?

An average day is never average, weather is quite a factor and constantly changing in the Northeast. We have to constantly adapt and be ready to get the work done in the windows that allow.

2. Why did you get involved in seaweed farming?

We were looking into growing oysters and Chatham only allows one permit for oyster grant so focused on growing kelp.

3. What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

All the new friends we have made, like our great fun friends at AKUA and the exciting growth of the new industry!

4. Tell us a crazy fact about seaweed that most people wouldn’t know.

We brought a friend along for a boat ride to see the kelp farm and she told us how she is a 3rd generation breast cancer survivor and how kelp is part of her daily intake! We really enjoyed hearing this and hope our farm can be of further help and better the lives of many!

5. What do you hope to see in the seaweed community in the next five years?

We hope to see the kelp thrive! We are currently also discussing ways to implement kelp for shore erosion barriers and have bottled a kelp infused cider with Shoal Hope Cider Works. We will produce a large spring batch and Neptune's Folly will be available in the spring for everyone to enjoy!! Cheers!

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