Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Revolution is On!

Two years ago I had to convince people at the Farmers Market that they weren't going to keel over if they ate my seaweed. Now I can't keep up with the demand!

I am so excited that the consciousness around wild foods and foraging has shifted so quickly. People are really getting it. I am even more excited that I am inspiring others to forage for themselves. I just got an email from a woman who bought me seaweed last weekend who foraged her own rockweed when she got home, and another woman told me she began foraging seaweed back home in California after tasting mine two summers ago.

Also, Pippa Jack at Rhode Island Monthly blo. gged about me on the RI Monthly website. Thanks Pippa!

The other exciting news in my foraging world (besides the bounty of blackberries--ahhhh!) is that the Atlantic Inn has my roasted rockweed on their menu as a garnish on their salmon dish. They just upped their order to 20 bags a week from five, so I am quite busy! Thanks to chef Aaron,,  who thinks I could get picked up by Newport Specialty Foods and distributed on the mainland. Not sure if I am going to follow this as I would need a much bigger bike, but it's nice to have the support and enthusiasm of the chef at one of the best restaurants on the island. Thanks also to Glen Pence at Three Sisters for being open to wild foods. Glen bought some glasswort from me that he served as a garnish on his grilled tuna. Dinner at Three Sisters is amazing! Stop by Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday when I am working.

Sorry, no photos today. I had to move out of my house for eleven days and my technological capabilities are a little constrained. Not a bad thing--more time to clamber down the bluffs and wade into tidepools. I am heading out now to pick sea lettuce. This time of the year the stuff on the surface is pretty bleached out, so I have to dive below the surface, head first into little caves in the jetty where it is still deep, emerald green. I keep fearing I am going to come face to face with a conger eel, but so far they have let me be. Sweet dreams conger eels! I promise I won't stick my hands in your holes after dark when you slip out to see what's happening in the wider ocean.

Oh wait, I do have a photo on my computer to share. This is laver, the seaweed that is processed into nori, for all you sushi lovers. It is very mild tasting. I roast it with a little sesame oil and sell it at Farmers' Market. It's season is almost past, so if you want some, show up soon!

Happy foraging everyone!! Thanks for sharing your stories with me.     ~~~Whitewave


  1. Been trying to make my own nori paper but with limited success. Have you tried? Have a new plan now involving drying and flaking it before sprinkling onto non-stick fine gauze and then putting it in my seaweed press. May work??

    Happy foraging,

  2. Fergus, I have not tried this yet, but love the idea. Real laver is so much more delicious than store bought. Let me know how it turns out and happy foraging to you as well.

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  4. Hello Jen! My name is Melissa and I'm an intern at the Narragansett Bay Estuary Program in Rhode Island. I recently read your article in Serious Eats and became intrigued about the possibility of seaweed harvesting on the RI mainland. I am writing an article about seaweed management in Rhode Island for our winter issue of the Narragansett Bay Journal and was wondering if you would be interested in chatting with me (my email address is melipalm@gmail.com). Thanks so much for your time!