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Sea Gardener
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Q1. Tell us where it all began

I organised World Oceans Festival in conjunction with Billy Butler of TBay Surf Centre in 2004, 2005 and 2006. We had excellent rocky shore ecologists from IWT, Tim and Catherine Clabon.

They inspired an interest in the rocky shore and in 2007, when organising an outing for IWT members, I made some seaweed snacks and realised there was huge interest in seaweed.

I was invited to lead a forage for Dungarvan Food Festival soon after and within a few years, I published The Sea Garden – a guide to seaweed cookery and foraging and continued to lead foraging workshops and talks.

In 2014, I began making seaweed-based snacks, supplying local shops initially and expanding through the Supervalu Food Academy to other counties.

The Sea Gardener Made With Seaweed 1
The Sea Gardener Made With Seaweed 2

Q2. What differentiates you from similar businesses in this area?

I’m the only seaweed forager in Waterford as far as I know!

Q3. What would you say are the biggest challenges your business is currently facing?

As a sole trader, deciding where to focus my time and energy between foraging events and food production is always challenging.

Right now, input costs of food production are high, so that’s the biggest current challenge.

“Right now, input costs of food production are high, so that’s the biggest current challenge.”

Q4. What are your top ‘moments of joy’ over the past 4-5 years?

Winning a Blas Award for The Sea Gardener seaweed blends at Dingle Food Festival in 2019.

Previously, winning a Blas Award for my Caponata in 2018.

Recently, being offered the opportunity to feature in RTE’s Summer Show being aired in July!

Q5. What does the future hold for your business?

Continuing with events and Collaborating with local businesses.

Using every opportunity possible to protect the wildlife and environment of the Copper Coast and Waterford area, by educating people and active interventions.

The Sea Gardener Made With Seaweed 3