A Good Day to Collect Seaweed

Overcast with outbreaks of rain through the morning, with some heavier bursts. From early afternoon the rain will mostly clear northeastwards, though remaining dull, damp and misty for most…

We were enveloped in cloud this morning; couldn’t see across the street to the Downs beyond. With cloud clinging to the hillside, it seemed a good day to collect seaweed.

The promenade and beach were quiet, apart from a few solitary souls out walking. Following the falling tide, as it retreated scattering seaweed across the shingle, we managed to collect six bags; but each time we collect there seems to be more detritus and ghost tackle snagged in the seaweed.

Added to the potato beds, it will be left to rot over winter in preparation for the coming year; but not today. In the grey light it was enough to pile the bags at the bottom of the allotment, check on the plants in the greenhouse, and add a layer of shredded paper to the worm bins to provide insulation, and bedding over winter. For some reason the bins have not been working properly, so we inoculated the waste with compost, full of worms, from the tea bin, and now the bins are smelling a lot sweeter, and there’s a great deal of worm activity on the surface and hopefully below too. Then the rain set in and we retreated to the shed.

…another fairly grey and damp day out there for many people…



After the Storm

The Met Office issue a weather warning: YELLOW WARNING of RAIN and WIND for much of southern and south-eastern England.

Issued at: 08:58 on Sun 20 Nov.
Valid from: 09:00 on Sun 20 Nov.
Valid to: 13:00 on Sun 20 Nov.

The strongest of the winds and heavy rain associated with Storm Angus are now confined to parts of southeast England (strongest winds in the Amber warning area) and will clear to the east through the rest of this morning, although some gusts of 50 mph may still affect eastern parts of East Anglia and Kent into the early afternoon.

Battered by the storm last night, we decided, before checking for any damage on the allotment, to visit the beach in the hope of collecting seaweed. The sea was still turbulent but the wind had eased slightly, and there wasn’t as much seaweed as we thought there’d be, but enough; and anyway being on the beach on such a windy day was exhilarating.
We often need to separate seaweed from the flotsam that litters the shoreline, and today was no different, just more than usual, thrown up by last night’s storm. So much rubbish, ghost tackle, battered and broken but still recognisable; what we throw away, returned with the incoming tide.
Collecting seaweed attracts attention, people curious to know what we’re doing and why? We explain composting; covering beds on the allotment; adding trace elements to chalky soil. We managed three bags today, enough to cover a bed.

Fortunately there was no damage on our plot, but one of the allotments, across the valley from us, had lost their polytunnel. Picked up and rolled across several plots, it lay upended; nothing but twisted wreckage.