IT WAS LOVELY to see visitors to the East Coast sitting happily on the beach among the Sargassum seaweed. This seaweed is, in fact, a most precious God-sent commodity that can be so beneficial to our soil-starved island.
Where I am from, Kent, the “Garden of England”, at the first sighting of seaweed, the farmers are down on the beach with their large trucks and teams of field workers. They go back and forth for days gathering and then spreading the seaweed on their fields.
Here, I speak from Carlisle Bay and Browne’s Beach, the weed has hovered in the sea for weeks. Now, there are fresh, golden patches coming ashore. The weed is beautiful to look at, golden yellow with water glinting like diamonds in the early morning sun.
It is a visual promise of the goodness it holds within it, life and vitality for the earth. It is a freely given supply of fertiliser for the fields, full of minerals and nutrients. Once scattered on the soil, it breaks down in the sun’s heat and easily combines with the soil.
There is no smell. That only occurs when layers are left to rot on the beaches. The secret is to gather it early in the day and use it.
So, people, tomorrow, get out with some of those plastic bags and gather this wonder of nature waiting to help us grow our plants and food.
An added bonus is that the African snails hate the seaweed with a passion and they disappear from the garden at the sight of it.
– ANN KELLY