Believe it or not, Britain has a rich history of using seaweeds, including as a fertiliser for food, burnt to form potash (important in traditional soap and glass industries) and - even - to clarify beer! But most of us have got them all wrong. They aren't just smelly piles that adorn our beaches. These misunderstood 'scourges' are actually surprisingly intelligent, adapting to survive all over our planet, from Antarctica to 50m deep in the Galapagos reserve .
In this seaweed foraging course, I hope that you'll become as enthusiastic about seaweed as I am - you'll find out just how much more to seaweed there is than meets the eye - for instance, fucoxanthin, the pigment that gives brown seaweed its colour, has been shown to have a sizeable effect on fat metabolism and blood sugar levels.
You'll learn all sorts of seaweed facts - weird, wonderful and entertaining - in an informal, digestible and relaxed way, as well as how to safely identify and sustainably harvest brown, green and red seaweeds that you can make tasty dishes with (even if you are a novice seaweed eater). Most of all, though, this immersive course will help you to experience our vast coastline in an elemental and new way.
In this comprehensive seaweed foraging course, you can expect the following:
A discussion on the nature of tides and seaweed habitats - you'll find out where and when to collect edible seaweeds.
A short introduction on how to sustainably and safely identify and forage small seaweed harvests.
The laws of gathering and foraging coastal plants and macroalgae.
The biology of macroalgae and some of their surprising adaptation features.
An immersive walk journeying through magnificent coastal landscape.
An in - depth look at how to identify seaweeds (we'll look at between 12 - 20) and coastal greens (up to 5), as well as other plants that you could confuse them with so that you know what to avoid. We'll compare textures, tastes and flavours.
The nutritional profile of seaweeds and the discovery of the umami taste.
The history, folklore and traditional and modern uses of seaweed - you'll learn why dulse was served at pubs and why the Irish traditionally took seaweed baths.
Methods and demonstration of preparation and cooking, conservation and storing - including pickling and drying.
A discussion on some of its medicinal uses so you can make your very own seaweed - based medicine cabinet.
A beautifully - designed Be Nutriful recipe book with a guide of commonly favoured seaweeds and seaweed - inspired recipes.
Our coastal seaweed foraging courses are suitable for those who are curious about healthy living and how to live in a more self-sufficient and sustainable way. If you're keen to have a unique experience by the British coast, finding tasty edible plants and seaweeds to cook with, as well as learning how to prepare and store these nutritional powerhouses, then this course is for you!
Whether you're a total foraging novice or you've yet to venture much into coastal foraging, this seaweed course will inspire you to get gathering and munching macroalgae!
Our courses are for adults or teenagers (above 12) with medium fitness. In total, we will walk around 5- 6 kms at a slow pace, but please note that there will be some steep climbs, slopes and steps involved, as well as some clambering over rocks (which can be slippery). Please note that all teenagers must be accompanied by an adult.
If you have mobility issues, please email for a tailor - made course. It's also worth mentioning that public toilet facilities won't be available on the shore and we'll often be going to areas with minimal phone reception so we advise you make arrangements beforehand.
Before the coastal plant and seaweed foraging course, you'll be emailed a comprehensive list of what to bring. This includes robust footwear (hiking boots or sturdy non - slip wellington boots) since we will be clambering over some fairly slippery rocks. It will be a low - tide forage so you won't need to get into the sea (!) but we encourage you to wear waterproof, comfortable and warm clothing as it can often be quite a lot chillier and breezier on the shore.
We also advise that you bring a drink of your choice to enjoy with lunch, a hat and some sunscreen (if appropriate!), a pair of scissors or a penknife, and some mesh or ziploc bags, as well as a notebook and pen to scribble down some notes and interesting seaweed facts!
While we're a fan of four - legged friends, we've found that dogs can be very distracting to others on the seaweed foraging course as well as disruptive to wildlife on the shore, particularly birds. Sadly we don't allow any dogs on the foraging courses.
This fun and informative seaweed foraging course is led by Flora, a qualified medicinal herbalist and naturopath and passionate forager and storyteller, who will cover the variety of uses (culinary, medicinal, topical) of between 12 - 20 seaweeds, as well as interesting and unusual folklore and seaweed facts.
Find more about Flora's background here.
Coastal plant and seaweed foraging courses will be held in a variety of locations in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. On eventbrite, each course will indicate the nearest town and region in the course title and description and new events are often added.
Before the course, you'll be sent the exact GPS location as well as parking information. If you want to enquire about lift - sharing, please email me before the course.
Our seaweed and coastal plant foraging courses can only be run on specific dates and times in conjunction with the moon phase and low tides. We run the majority of our courses at the weekend (unless they are private functions) which means that the days we can run the courses tend to be limited. The best time for the best learning experience of the coast is on a spring tide (generally around the new or full moon which happens twice a month) and when the low tide occurs (which varies in time depending on its location or date).
Please see our eventbrite collection for all the upcoming courses.