After a busy first year, we have harvested our first batches of sugar kelp from the sparkling waters off the Isle of Skye - a big milestone!
We have had a franticly exciting year of activity and progress: seeding the farm in winter 2020 with juvenile kelp propagated at our own small hatchery, and fitting out Ailsa (our new workboat) over the spring. After months of brainstorming, planning, resourcing and building of bespoke equipment, we harvested our first batch of pristine sugar kelp at the end of April 2021. It took us 2 days to harvest just under 2 tons of food-grade kelp, which was landed to Skye, with the assistance of our local HIAB hire company. Its good to know a man with a crane!
A week later, we managed to harvest and land a further 2.5 tons in a single, long day. The kelp, when cut from the growing lines, is kept in net bags in the sea until the point of landing and this ensures that it stays fresh, clean and cool (essential for food safety). After each landing, the batches of high quality kelp were delivered locally to Oceanium for processing, as part of an Innovate UK project collaboration.
It's been a busy couple of weeks at sea, and a steep learning curve, but very successful all round. It is evident that the kelp is growing rapidly with each week that passes, and some fronds are nearly 2 meters long after only 4 months at sea! We will continue to harvest weekly through May, and possibly into June, and look forward to seeing how much more this super crop can yield.
UPDATE, July 2021: Our early harvest season yielded 12.5 tons of food grade kelp. This is a fraction of the potential supply from our farm area, but a great achievement for our first harvest season. Watch this space.
If you would like to discuss kelp supply and Business to Business opportunities please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.