Seaweed farming dates back to the 1600's in Tokyo Bay Japan, however, seaweed farming in United States is a relatively new trade. In 2006, Ocean Approved became the first people to start farming kelp in the US. Since then, many other kelp farms have sprouted up across our coasts. We took the liberty of gathering up 5 of these awesome farms and sharing them with you!
1. Ocean Approved
Ocean Approved has been the leaders in sustainable kelp farming. They believe in food being "Healthy for You, Healthy for the Environment". In addition, by farming kelp, they can create jobs for fisherman in the off season. Supporting Maine's coastal community and culture is one of their many positive driving points. On their website you can also find amazing kelp recipes, information about sustainable farming and nutritional benefits of kelp! Ocean Approved is currently selling kelp for wholesale off their website: www.oceanapproved.com Check them out!
GreenWave's mission is to: "Support a new generation of ocean farmers and innovators working to restore ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and build a blue-green economy." GreenWave's passion for sustainability is truly inspiring. In addition to caring about the environment, GreenWave puts an emphasis on job creation as well! If you love what GreenWave is doing for ocean farmers please support them by donating on their page: www.GreenWave.org
3. Thimble Island Oyster Co.
Thimble Island Oyster Co. is located in Connecticut! This kelp farm takes a unique approach when growing kelp - they use a technique known as 3D Ocean Farming. Thimble Island Oyster Co. is one of the first sustainable 3D ocean farms in the country. They use a vertical growing system to grow a variety of species — ranging from sugar kelp and oysters to mussels and scallops. Their way of growing is now national model for hyper-local sustainable food production, ocean restoration and economic development. Check out more on their website: Thimble Island Oyster Co.
4. Maine Fresh Sea Farms
Maine Fresh Sea Farms was started by three entrepreneurs seeking a way to responsibly grow and harvest seaweed from Maine’s coastal waters. Their current mission is to provide a test lab for sea vegetables that were grown in a sustainable manner so that the process could be duplicated up and down the coast. Maine Fresh Sea Farms grows a variety of sea vegetables, all of which have amazing health benefits! They also supply a handful of delicious-sounding sea vegetable recipes that you can check out here: Recipes!
5. Walrus and Carpenter Oysters
Walrus and Carpenter Oysters mission is to farm the ocean and restore the environment. Leading with passion, they are committed to distributing the high quality food they grow directly to local consumers. Starting out as oyster farmers, they had some negative experience with seaweed - specifically algal blooms that would "choke" their oysters. However, they soon tried their hand at farming kelp to create better ocean conditions and prevent those algal blooms. You can check out their site for more information: www.walrusandcarpenteroysters.com
We hope you learned a bit more about some of the kelp farms on the east coast!
There are currently farms sprouting in the Alaska area and we hope to share more information about that with you soon.
Until then, go grab yourself some kelp and support these wonderful farms!
- Carolyn Koch