Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Seaweed, gales and rain

As I'm writing it's dark, windy and wet outside. We've seen a lot of wind recently, last week some gusts of 60mph and a fair amount of rain too. Autumn is in full swing and throwing it's worst at us.

There is one bonus - it means the seaweed is coming in nice and thick on the beaches. Each year we use in the order of 200 tons of the stuff to improve the soil and provide fertility for next years crops.

It sounds a lot, which it is, but this soon rots down to a fraction of its fresh bulk. We use a combination of foreloader and trailer to haul the 'weed off the beach, tip it out on the fields and spread it to a layer between 6 inches and 1 foot thick. This will rot down with the autumn and winter rains; after about 8-10 weeks it'll be rotavated in to the soil.

So far we've got about 100 tons up (30 of this done with a pitchfork and trailer!), so about another 100 to go. Judging by the forecast there won't be a shortage of seaweed around yet!