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Beginning Saturday, April 17th through Sunday, April 25th, the Sugar Kelp Cooperative, with the assistance of Yellow Farmhouse Education Center, Long Island Sound Ocean Cluster (LISOC), Greenwave, Stonington Kelp Company, and New England Sea Farms, is partnering with local CT restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and cafés in celebrating the harvest of locally cultivated sugar kelp. This event is called New England Kelp Harvest Week. A list of participating restaurants can be found at https://newenglandkelp.com/2021-participant-list.
Sugar kelp is a seaweed native to New England that has multiple uses, highlighted by its culinary and nutritional values. Through the leadership of Greenwave and UCONN Sea Grant, the process of cultivating sugar kelp on long lines offshore has become a successful method of yielding significant crops under careful regulation that ensures the product is free of heavy metals and bacteria. This provides a locally-grown, flavorful, and nutrient-dense food source in southern New England. Additionally, sugar kelp is a ‘regenerative’ crop – it requires zero inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, fresh water, or arable land. Sugar kelp is naturally organic and non-GMO. As a ‘blue economy’ frontrunner, sugar kelp offers opportunities to improve the health of our community, improve our environment, and promote our local working waterfront for economic opportunities.
Throughout New England Kelp Harvest Week our partner restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and cafe’s will utilize local sugar kelp in dishes and drinks, showcasing the culinary versatility of this nutrient-rich local crop. The Yellow Farmhouse Education Center will host students in New London, Norwalk, and Stonington for virtual field trips to learn more about kelp farming. Virtual programs for the general public will focus on educating around the culinary use of sugar kelp and nutritional values, cocktail creations with sugar kelp, historical significance of sugar kelp in the region, and environmental values of this crop. More information about programs can be found at www.yellowfarmhouse.org.
New England Kelp Harvest week will raise funds for the following causes:
Sugar Kelp Cooperative supports the growth of the sugar kelp industry by investing in small kelp farmers and creating market opportunities. This entity, run by sugar kelp farmers, is dedicated to the culinary, nutritional, environmental, and economic values available through cultivating sugar kelp.
The Yellow Farmhouse Education Center connects people to each other and to where their food comes from through culinary and farm-based education. Our school programs, teacher professional development, and cooking classes for kids and adults, help cultivate a shared commitment to supporting a local, sustainable food system accessible and affordable to all. www.yellowfarmhouse.org, IG: @yellowfarmct
The Long Island Sound Ocean Cluster is an innovation hub for the Blue Economy in Long Island Sound and beyond. Our initial focus is helping to grow southern New England’s sugar kelp industry by addressing multi-stakeholder challenges.
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