The Kelp Bed ♦ Maine Coast Sea Vegetables "Nourishing people with sea vegetables since 1971" Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:00:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alaria-Fruit Smoothies Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:21:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Sea Vegetable display in the Trenton Elementary School cafeteria

Harvest of the Month: Sea Vegetables!

Trenton Elementary School is featuring Sea Vegetables as the “Harvest of the Month” all during the month of January. Through the coordination of their School Garden Committee, FoodCorps volunteer, cafeteria staff, and Maine Coast Sea Vegetables the students are learning first-hand about the sea plants that grow right in their front yard. The third grade got an introduction to sea veggies through a rehydration experiment in which they saw, touched, smelled, and even listened to pieces of sugar kelp that were first dry, then moistened, then fully immersed in water. They also got to taste Dulse and Kelp Krunch® and on Friday the whole school will be treated to Alaria-Fruit Smoothies at lunchtime. Yum! The recipe is below:

 Alaria-Fruit Smoothies

Alaria-Fruit Smoothie samples


  • One banana (fresh or frozen)
  • One cup frozen berries of choice (we like strawberries and/or blueberries)
  • One cup frozen mango
  • One cup milk of choice (unsweetened coconut is our choice)
  • One cup orange or other fruit juice
  • One teaspoon Alaria Powder
  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!!



Happy New Year! Tue, 02 Jan 2018 19:34:26 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Welcome 2018…

Here’s to another year of providing healthy, delicious Sea Veggies!

From all of us here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables to all of you,  our wonderful supporters, we hope the New Year brings you abundant joy and good health. Thank you for a fabulous year!

Happy New Year



Thanksgiving Tide Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:51:53 +0000 Continue reading ]]> As the days shorten

and the air becomes chill,

we reflect on all that we are grateful for,

all that makes us who we are

here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables…


to the rising and falling tide and all its bounty,

to our loyal customers the world over,

to those who have just discovered sea vegetables,

and those who have been life-long fans,

to all our co-workers, past and present,

to the harvesters and shippers,

and all those who have helped us along the way.

We are immeasurably blessed to live and work in such a beautiful place with such pristine waters. We are blessed and we are thankful. To all of you, we wish that you find peace and joy in the company of family and friends this holiday.


~~from all of us at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables~~





Local Schools Celebrate Maine Harvest Month Thu, 26 Oct 2017 16:30:09 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Local Schools Celebrate Maine Harvest Month

It’s Fall in Maine and that means that the root vegetables are being unearthed and the ground is being put to rest in preparation for the cold months ahead. Schools in the towns surrounding Maine Coast Sea Vegetables are adding a new harvest item to their menus this year. Accompanying the requisite potatoes and colorful rainbow carrots you’ll find our delicious Dulse with Garlic Sea Seasoning®, as well as Alaria powder, Kelp Blend, and Dulse Flakes.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots seasoned with Dulse with Garlic Sea Seasoning.

At their recent Harvest Meal Lunch, Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School students were treated to fluffy Maine blueberry pancakes, locally raised pork sausage, and roasted root vegetables with Dulse/Garlic. Staff and children alike delighted in the flavor combinations and praised the meal.

Enjoying the Harvest Meal at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School.

Dulse Corn Chowder and Dulse Macaroni and Cheese are next on the docket for another local school. Finally, as the crowning achievement for getting sea vegetables to our local students, the University of Maine has been featuring a Manhattan Sea Vegetable Chowder (see recipe below) in their soup rotation all Fall. Our Kelp Krunch™ Seaweed Energy Bars can also be found at the lunch counters and general stores on the University campus. We are so pleased here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables to be fueling the bodies and minds of our local youth. Here’s to all the adventurous palates and curious learners out there…you keep up the studies and we’ll keep up the sustainable harvest of these magnificent, nutrient-filled sea veggies!

Manhattan Sea Vegetable Chowder

Ginger Kelp Krunch ready for sampling by UMaine students

  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups green pepper, diced
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 4 tsp garlic, chopped fresh
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/8 cup Alaria powder
  • 1/8 cup Kelp Blend
  • 1/3 cup Dulse Flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 T parsley, chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 2/3 cups crushed, no-salt-added tomatoes, including juice
  • 3 quarts vegetable stock
  • 3 1/3 cups potatoes, diced and covered with water


  1. Sauté garlic, onions, green peppers, celery, carrots, and the dry herbs in olive oil until starting to turn tender and brown
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except potatoes in water
  3. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  4. In a separate pot, bring potatoes to a boil and cook 15 minutes. Allow soup to continue to simmer while potatoes cook
  5. Add potatoes and their cooking water to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste
Sea Vegetables cooking classes coming in October Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:28:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Fresh DulseOur educator and Kelp Krunch baker Kara Ibarguen will teach two sea veggie cooking classes coming up in October, in our new R&D kitchen!
On October 4th, make delicious stir-fries with Dulse, Laver, Alaria, and Kelp.
Just in time for cooler weather, the October 11th class will focus on making soups and broth with sea vegetables, including split pea soup with Alaria, and Dulse corn chowder.

Kara is a talented cook and teacher, and a lot of fun to boot! Come and learn how to incorporate sea veggies into dishes you already love.

The classes will be 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in our new building in Hancock. Registration for each class is $35. To learn more and sign up, visit or call (207) 422-4794. Or contact us at, or (207) 412-0094.

Cup of Sea Wed, 31 May 2017 21:41:56 +0000 Continue reading ]]> We had a nice visit today from Josh Rogers, founder of Cup of Sea~Maine Seaweed Teas, one of Maine’s newest seaweed-related food and drink ventures.

Sea Smoke (lapsang souchong tea & smoked dulse)Cup of Sea makes a range of delicious teas–green, herbal, and black–blended with seaweeds. Take, for instance, “Sea Smoke,” a blend of lapsang souchong and smoked Dulse. For my first foray I tried “Sailor’s Cure-All,” with ginger, turmeric, and bladderwrack, plus a touch of honey. Warm, spicy, and a hint of ocean–delicious!

The Portland Press Herald ran a story on Cup of Sea this past weekend: Drinking seaweed is not weird anymore.”

And at the end of March, the Portland Phoenix covered Cup of Sea a bit more in-depth.

Find the teas at several locations around Portland, and at Lois’ Natural Marketplace in Scarborough. One of our new favorite things! It’s wonderful to see Maine seaweed making its way into people’s cups in such a creative and delicious form. Thanks Josh!



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Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs Tue, 16 May 2017 17:50:01 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Who will represent the next generation of the Ocean’s caretakers?

The Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Program has awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to talented students since it began five years ago. The 2017 Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Contest offers  young artists a world stage to share their work.

Do you know of a young person in middle school or high school with a love for the Sea? Let them know, NOW is the time to submit their ART, POETRY, PROSE and FILM to make a change. This year’s theme is Ocean Pollution: Challenges & Solutions.

In 2011, founder Linda Cabot and her daughters embarked on a journey in Maine to film a documentaryFrom The Bow Seat—about environmental issues impacting the Gulf of Maine. The act of making a film and creating artwork made Linda and her daughters feel engaged and empowered in a way that went above and beyond reading about these issues in a book or hearing about them in a lecture.

Realizing the power of artwork and media to educate, inspire, and activate younger generations, Linda Cabot, founder, began to shape Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs into the organization it is today.”

Pass this on to young people and let them know that they, the ocean caretakers of the future, will be heard! Contest deadline is June 19, 2017.

The Rockweed Rodeo Fri, 12 May 2017 17:04:14 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Tidal Falls Plays Host to the First-Ever “Rockweed Rodeo”

COA students admiring a smooth periwinkle egg cluster up close.

Tidal Falls, Hancock, Maine, May 6, 2017: Despite the drizzly, sometimes pouring, rain, more than twenty-five interested folks ventured out in raincoats and boots to see what this was all about. They were greeted by their hosts, who although they came from varying places, all had in common a love for Maine’s intertidal zone. Aaron Dority, Executive Director of the Frenchman Bay Conservancy, extended a hearty welcome and then handed the floor over to Anica Miller-Rushing from Downeast Conservation Network. Anica encouraged each person to express what they thought or felt about rockweed and the intertidal area in general. Going around the room it was clear that we all shared at minimum a curiosity and at most a downright obsession with the creatures that live on and near the Ascophyllum nodosum, and the complexity of its responsible stewardship. Some were there as landowners and kayaking enthusiasts. Others came with professional and intellectual interests. Still others were there as students and teachers, eager to gather and share more knowledge.

Hannah Webber visits with other Rockweed enthusiasts.

Hannah Webber from Schoodic Institute led us through an entertaining overview of rockweed biology, including an explanation of the convoluted history of the name of the alga in question. Once known mostly as “knotted wrack” or even “Norwegian kelp,” the species found itself being referred to primarily by its most obvious, descriptive name, “rockweed,” not to be confused with “bladderwrack” which also grows on the rocks, usually right along with rockweed. Hannah shared a whimsical description with us, calling the intertidal “the ribbon of mystery.” She elaborated, saying, “Nautical charts end at the low-tide mark and land maps end at the high-tide mark; the area in between is the ribbon of mystery.”

Chris Petersen examines the rockweed, kelp, shells, and live crabs that Aaron Dority’s son, Leif, brought up from the shore.

Chris Petersen,  a professor of Marine Ecology at College of the Atlantic, expanded on this idea as he delved into the policy issues surrounding land ownership and property claims–a complicated snarl of bureaucracy we won’t get into here. We were also joined by a local artist, Jenny Rock, who had carved beautiful block stamps for us to help explore our creative side. The result was a gorgeous collaborative art piece festooned with the prints and quotes like, “The ocean’s bounty is a kingdom of its own.”

Jenny Rock’s hand-carved block stamps

Community art piece










Armed with fresh knowledge and clipboards the adventurous ones headed down to the shore to learn about the methods of tracking and measuring the growth and health of this brown seaweed. It is difficult to determine the exact age of the individual “plants” because the harsh weather can break them prematurely, but one can get a rough idea by counting the air bladders that grow at a rate of one per year. Eliza Oldach and other COA students have been studying the factors that contribute to the marine alga’s growth, such as variations in temperature and light exposure. Research into the possibility that rockweed has some beneficial carbon-sinking qualities is also ongoing.

Not to be outdone by all of this activity, ten harbor seals converged in the falls right in front of the pavilion in pursuit of the running smelts. It was a gentle and beautiful reminder of why we came out on this drizzly day.

Maine Composts Week Wed, 10 May 2017 17:23:18 +0000 Continue reading ]]> This week, May 7-13, it’s time to celebrate, learn about, and practice all things compost in Maine!

Organized by the George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, Maine Composts Week features resources, activities, contests and more, across the state, “to help facilitate improving resource management of organic materials in Maine.” It also coincides with International Compost Awareness Week.

Composting is a way to turn something that could be considered waste into something useful–combining food scraps, grass clippings, leaves, etc. and encouraging the work of microbes and other decomposers to break it all down into soil-enriching humus.

Check out a video shared on the Maine Composts Week Facebook page:

Image is not availableAt MCSV we collect our kitchen scraps and other organic materials generated in our building, and have a two-bin composting set-up at the edge of the woods and yard. We also collect the culled materials from our wild-harvested seaweeds and sell this as compost for gardeners. Seaweeds add abundant minerals, organic material, and even natural chemicals that feed plant growth and health to compost.

And many of us on staff are gardeners ourselves, using MCSV culls as well as seaweeds we collect off nearby shores to grow veggies, flowers, fruits, and herbs. MCSV founders Shep and Linnette Erhart have perhaps one of the most ambitious and seaweed-rich compost piles you’ve ever seen, that feeds their abundant gardens.

The Erharts’ seaweed-enriched compost system

Our Outreach and Education teams also works on local school gardening projects, helping schools incorporate seaweed into their gardens.

Maine Composts Week is about more than composting organic material so it doesn’t end up in landfills–it’s about ending hunger and food insecurity, closing the loop from farm to table to farm (or garden) again, and being more aware of and reducing the packaging of the products we use in our daily lives. As the saying goes, we get better at what we practice, and we’re always practicing something. So why not practice using our resources wisely?

And as always, Eat Your Sea Vegetables! (As food, or in compost to feed the plants that feed you!) :)


Seaweed and verse Fri, 28 Apr 2017 21:56:00 +0000 Continue reading ]]> QK567_Se1_Sea_Weeds_p022_PS4In celebration of National Poetry Month, and the love of seaweed and words and art, here is a gem we discovered recently at The Public Domain Review, an album filled with Victorian “seaweed pictures” and one of the sweetest seaweed poems, ever…

Ah! call us not weeds —
We are flowers of the sea
For lovely and bright
And gay tinted are we —

We are quite independent
Of culture and showers
Then call us not weeds
We are oceans’s gay flowers.


And, another discovery, a poem by Pablo Neruda

XXXIV (You are the daughter of the sea)

You are the daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin.
Swimmer, your body is pure as the water;
cook, your blood is quick as the soil.
Everything you do is full of flowers, rich with the earth.

Your eyes go out toward the water, and the waves rise;
your hands go out to the earth and the seeds swell;
you know the deep essence of water and the earth,
conjoined in you like a formula for clay.

Naiad: cut your body into turquoise pieces,
they will bloom resurrected in the kitchen.
This is how you become everything that lives.

And so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms
that push back the shadows so that you can rest--
vegetables, seaweed, herbs: the foam of your dreams.

And finally a quote from the great naturalist and writer Loren Eiseley