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.
“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 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 free panel discussion, “Maine Sea Vegetables: Past, Present, and Future,” will be held at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Oct. 13 from 5 to 6 p.m. The four presenters will share their passion about edible sea vegetables and answer questions from attendees. Panelists include Bob Steneck, professor at 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 paid course on identification and harvest of sea greens, “Foraging for Maine Sea Vegetables,” will be held at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The morning portion of the 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, 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 www.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. Participants can also call Taylor Eddy at 207-633-8012 to register.