About us

Seaweed Commons seeks to form ecological seaweed coalitions, support and inform public discourse, increase algal literacy, and advocate for an appropriately scaled, just seaweed economy. By providing the public with nuanced and accessible information on the politics, ecology, governance, and economy of marine algae, we aim to promote an open and informed public discourse essential to responsible decision-making and resource management. 

 

Severine Fleming is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in Downeast Maine. She runs Smithereen Farm, a MOFGA certified organic wild blueberry, seaweed, and orchard operation which hosts summer camps, camping, and educational workshops. She is a founder and board member of Agrarian Trust and current director of the Greenhorns, a 15 year old grassroots organization whose mission is to recruit, promote, and support the incoming generation of famers in America. Severine brings her wide circle of allies and learnings from the young farmer's movement.

Smithereen Farm

Following cultural and culinary traditions that stretch back millennia all around the world, we continue to harvest edible algae by hand and bring beach wrack up to fertilize our home gardens. We run a small scale wild-harvest seaweed business together at Smithereen Farm, gently harvesting alaria, sugar kelp, digitata, nori, and sea lettuce and from the wild ocean commons. 

 

 

Amanda Swinimer is a seaweed harvester, author, business owner, and educator who lives and works on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. She began her own business, Dakini Tidal Wilds, in 2003, hand-harvesting wild edible seaweed from the beaches and kelp forests surrounding her home. Swinimer’s unique expertise makes her a sought-after speaker at international conferences, speaking about the ecological importance of seaweeds and the extraordinary health benefits. She has been conducting seaweed workshops and tours as well as teaching young people in the British Columbia school system for years, passing on her rare knowledge and sharing her intensely joyful connection to the ocean with diverse audiences. She holds a BSc in marine biology and is the author of The Science and Spirit of Seaweed: Discovering Food, Medicine and Purpose in the Kelp Forests of the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

Avery Resor is the Co-Founder/operator of Daybreak Seaweed Co. where she works with regenerative ocean farmers to bring seaweed into the everyday kitchen. For over 15 years, Avery has worked with farmers from the US to East Africa to bolster productivity, resilience, and food sovereignty. Avery studied marine biology at Duke University Marine Lab and earned a Master of Development Practice from UC Berkeley.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Lucianna McIntosh

Elena Bird is the Program Coordinator for Seaweed Commons and a project manager for Greenhorns.  After three years of organic veggie farming, Elena started at the University of Wisconsin in January 2022 as a research assistant in Community and Environmental Sociology and an M.S. candidate in Agroecology. Their research focuses on alternative economies of knowledge and resource sharing in food, land, and, most recently, intertidal systems.

 

 

 

We are always seeking others to learn from and with. If you have a lead you think we should be tracking or an article you want us to post, please send it to [email protected]

 

A project of the Greehorns

For fifteen years, The Greenhorns have focused on cultural infrastructure for the incoming generation of organic farmers and ranchers. Our work has been to support young people entering the sector with education, training, networking, and acculturation into the life-world of the young farmers' movement.

We engage with agroecology, food sovereignty, regional food-system, ecological restoration, traditional and adaptive management practices, cooperative legal structures, open-source farm tool innovations, and more. We produce books, films, media, and projects spanning these topics. www.greenhorns.org 

Just as The Greenhorns is concerned with the traditions, health, and future resilience of our agricultural landscapes and the peasants and family farmers who tend these places, so too are we concerned with the communities of the inter-tide and coastal ecology. 

 

The latest from our blog...

Story Map: A visual of sea gardens and indigenous aquaculture across the pacific

The Sea Gardens Across the Pacific story map shows the importance of revitalizing Indigenous mariculture practices. See the interactive, “living” story map at www.seagardens.net   "Indigenous People have been stewarding the ocean for thousands of years. This stewardship has appeared in many different forms around the world, ...
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4/28 Slow Fish Webinar on the AQUAA Act

https://slowfoodusa.org/event/open-the-floodgates-diving-into-the-aquaa-act/

In collaboration with One Fish Foundation, Slow Fish (of Slow Food USA) is presenting a virtual panel on the AQUAA Act that is pending approval in Congress. Among the panelists is Seaweed Commons' founder Severine Fleming.

"Some of the biggest industrial seafood companies in the world claim the Advancing the Quality of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act would provide more “sustainable” domestic seafood to more Americans.

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Alaska Seaweed Start Up Training Webinar

Alaska Sea Grant hosted a two-hour introductory webinar, held February 2, 2021, as part of the 2021 Seaweed Farm Start-up Training Program for Alaska residents interested in starting their own seaweed farm in Alaska. The series was targeted towards commercial fishermen, Alaska Natives,

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Bio4Climate: Giant Kelp as Feature Creature

Bio4Climate's Featured Creature this week is the illustrious Giant Kelp. Their article featured this 7-minute documentary (voiced by David Attenborough) about the biological and climate regulating role of kelp forests and the observable decline of these forests along the Scottish coast. To address this decline,

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NROC AQUACULTURE WEBINAR SERIES | April 5 and April 8, 2022

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council is hosting a webinar series on aquaculture in New England Federal Waters including regulation, public engagement, and interjurisdictional coordination. 

View the agenda draft here: NROC Aquaculture Webinar series agenda

Register here: Webinar registration

WEBINAR 1 | April 5,

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The Economist - Offshore seaweed farms and climate change

"Floating offshore farms should increase production of seaweed"

The Economist - 09/30/2021

This is the type of industrial growth the Seaweed Commons community is concerned about, despite being cloaked in the language of climate change mitigation.

"In many places where seaweed used to thrive,

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Civil Eats on the "Virtuous Vegetable", Atlantic Sea Farms, and scaling up seaweed

"Can Small Seaweed Farms Help Kelp Scale Up?"

Lynn Fantom, Civil Eats - 03/16/2022

Fantom's article explores how companies are capitalizing on US consumers' small, but expanding awareness and demand for seaweed products.

Touching on its capacity as a carbon sink,

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Long Island chefs want Long Island kelp

"How the emergence of kelp is capturing carbon, fertilizing fields and tickling the fancy of North Fork chefs"

Charity Robey, The Northforker - 02/25/2022

Long Island chefs are starting to seek out sources for local kelp, and nearby oyster farmers see this as a way to diversify their crop,

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Slow Fish 2021 online panel recording

Seaweed Industry or Seaweed Commons Panel

Many moons ago, we posted about the Slow Fish 2021 conference hosted by Slow Food last July. Here's the recording of the "Seaweed Industry or Seaweed Commons" panel, moderated by Severine Von Tscharner Fleming and featuring our friend Amanda Swinimer from Dakini Tidal Wilds.

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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's "Seaweed Solutions" webinar

WHOI's weekly "Ocean Encounters" recently featured the future of kelp farming in food systems, animal feeds, fuels, and other innovations for a changing climate. Hosted by Veronique LaCapra, the "Seaweed Solutions" panel included an aquaculture scientist, kelp farmer, and TNC policy advocate.

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Seagriculture 2021 Conference Recordings

Seagriculture is a European-based conference gathering speakers to present on the growing seaweed industry. The recordings from Seagriculture 2021's online version are linked above. Topics included growing seaweed for feed and food, offshore cultivation, biorefinery of seaweed and overall scaling-up of the seaweed industry. 

We've got a few sessions included below,

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