Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens have teamed up for a two-day celebration and exploration of Maine’s native superfood — sea vegetables. The series will feature two events: a free panel discussion on local sea greens and a paid course on wild foraging. A free panel discussion, “Maine Sea Vegetables: Past, Present, and Future,” will be held at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Friday, Oct. 13 from 5-6 p.m. A paid course on identification and harvest of sea greens, “Foraging for Maine Sea Vegetables,” will be held at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on Saturday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“Maine’s sea vegetable industry is growing rapidly and bringing nutritious and sustainable food to tables across the country,” said Nichole Price, a senior research scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and director of its Center for Venture Research on Seafood Solutions. “These events are a unique opportunity to hear from some of the people leading that growth and learn ways to identify, gather, and prepare delicious sea vegetable dishes.”
The four presenters on Oct. 13 will share their passion about edible sea vegetables and answer questions from attendees. Panelists include Bob Steneck, a professor at the University of Maine; Shep Erhart, president of Maine Coast Sea Vegetables; Seth Barker, co-owner of Maine Fresh Sea Farms; and Tollef Olsen, president of Ocean’s Balance.
The morning portion of the Oct. 14 workshop will be conducted in a classroom setting. In the afternoon, the group will head out along the shores of Ocean Point in East Boothbay to forage for wild seaweeds. Lunch and a cooking demonstration by Olsen are included in the day, highlighting delectable and approachable ways to incorporate nutritious sea vegetables into meals.
“We are excited to partner with Bigelow Laboratory on these events and share these ocean gardens with our community,” said Daniel Ungier, the director of education at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. “Maine’s seas are as fruitful as its land, and aquaculture is an increasing part of our local food movement and our local economy.”
Additional event details are available at mainegardens.org. Users can click on the “Learning for Adults” link to register. Though the Oct. 13 panel discussion is free, advance registration is recommended. The Oct. 14 foraging course is $120 for members of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and $150 for nonmembers. Participants can also call Taylor Eddy at 633-8012 to register.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, located at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay, is an independent, nonprofit research institute. Its research ranges from the microscopic life at the bottom of marine food webs to large-scale ocean processes that affect the entire planet. Learn more at bigelow.org, and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, located at 132 Botanical Gardens Drive in Boothbay, is a nonprofit botanical garden comprising 295 acres of tidal shoreland. Its mission is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research.