Friday, June 8, 2018

At the seaside

We went to the beach recently, which is over an hour's drive from us--we don't go often, unfortunately!  But we thought we'd take advantage of the nice weather while it lasted.

Though the beach itself was cold and misty, the town was sunny and warm:  the whole drive was hot, until the last three streets up to the sea itself!  We've never seen such a thing.  So while we had fun exploring the cute little town, including playing at the park, we also had fun walking and splashing on the chilly beach, doing a little foraging for the garden.

What did we bring back?

Seaweed

The tide was just going out as we began to walk the beach, and on the smooth sand were many little patches of black seaweed.  The eight year old had a great time running around collecting them, and between the three of us, we filled a carrier bag full.  When we got home, I used it as a mulch around my (extremely small) asparagus plants.  The idea is that as it breaks down, the seaweed will release its minerals into the soil.  Last time we went to the beach (last summer), I collected some and put it around the redcurrant which has now doubled in size!  Coincidence?

Shells and crab claws

Admittedly, we didn't find a lot of these--we collected a lot more seaweed than seashells!  However, the eight year old managed to fill his two hoodie pockets with these.  Once back home, he put them in a canvas bag and crushed them with a mallet.  We put them in a small dish for the chickens to peck at.  They certainly enjoyed them, and gobbled all but the biggest pieces.  It's supposed to be a calcium supplement, and of course a good source of grit for their gizzards.  They tore little holes in the canvas bag, though:  sharp.  Hope they're not too sharp for gizzards.

A plant container mulched with smooth ocean pebbles
Ocean pebbles in the blueberry pot
Smooth ocean pebbles

We always like to collect lovely stones, with the idea of making a small mosaic patio with them.  I actually made a little mosaic last year, but as it was non-mortared (just set in sand), it's kind of disappeared into the soil.  I need to excavate, rescue the stones and start over.  Some pebbles have become decorative mulch in a few containers, too.  As a side note, we also used a dozen of the prettiest beach agates in our mancala set, which was missing some marbles.

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