Herring Gut Learning Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, political affiliation, age, or religious beliefs in the administration of its programs.
About Our Seaweed Farm
During the 2015-2016 school year, Herring Gut began a new program while also venturing into a new field of aquaculture- kelp farming. Alternative education students from the St. George School have worked throughout the year to create a start-up kelp aquaculture business called Long Line Kelp Growers.
Kelp is a brown seaweed that is rich in nutrients including calcium, magnesium, iodine, and iron. It is so healthy, in fact, that some people are deeming it the “new kale.” It can be used in a variety of applications including food products, skin and hair care products, pet food, and fertilizers. People along the coast have been eating wild-harvested seaweeds for centuries, however it is now becoming a more mainstream product with the explosion of the sushi industry in the United States, as well as through the local food movement. There is even a Seaweed Festival in Portland!
Maine is a leader in kelp aquaculture, or sea farming, in the United States. The first commercial kelp aquaculture company in the United States, Ocean Approved, was founded in Portland in 2006, and many others have followed suit. With a generous grant from the EPSCoR program, Herring Gut has been able to get in on this cutting edge aquaculture technology and begin work to create a demonstration kelp farm in the lobster pound on our campus.
Students have worked to get a limited purpose aquaculture license (LPA) from the Maine Department of Marine Resources, cultivated kelp spores or “seeds” in the laboratory for grow-out over the winter in the lobster pound, and have been researching different products they create with their final kelp harvest in May.
Never tried kelp before? Test out this recipe!
Cucumber Kelp Salad
2-3 medium cucumbers, julienned
3 oz. rehydrated and softened kelp seaweed (kombu), cut into about 2 inch lengths
6 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil, toasted
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup lightly toasted sesame seeds
Mix vinegar, oil, soy sauce, and ginger in a bowl. Add cucumber and kelp in the bowl and mix well. Top with sesame seeds and toss together.
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