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Mulch to gain from sargassum

Carlos Atwell

Mulch to gain from sargassum

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Ocean surf local organic mulch is on its way to becoming a household name, at least to those in agriculture.
The mulch, made from the sargassum seaweed washing up on Barbados’ shores, is the creation of 82-year-old Cavendish Atwell of Syndicate Lane, St Lawrence, Christ Church, who started the process as a hobby three years ago.
In June, Atwell started to sell a bagged version of his product to the nearby hardware store RT’s and since then it can be seen in 12 locations, including Super Centre stores, Carter’s General Stores, Sav-a-lot Value Mart and Trimart.
In a telephone interview on Wednesday, Atwell spoke about where he thought seaweed mulching should go.
“I figure Government should take it up as it would be expensive for a small businessman to do on a prolonged basis. I’ve already invested $2 000 into it but Government has machines which could do this work,” he said.
The process includes drying the seaweed in the sun then running it through a grater. This removes most of the sand and salt.
Atwell suggested the island’s sugar factories could be employed to process the seaweed during off seasons.
“The factories work from January to April, so they could process seaweed from June to December, where the seaweed could be dried and ground in the mill,” he said.
Once dried properly, Atwell said, the seaweed would not rot, so it could be stored safely while sugar cane was being ground.
Atwell said he was willing to work with anyone who wanted to learn the process, adding it was a possibility the product could be exported.