A Passion for Seaweed

an interview with Eva-Maria & Peter Horne 11/12/13

 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Eva and Peter Horne about their interest and indeed passion for Seaweed. While speaking to Eva It was obvious to me that she is extremely passionate about bringing the many uses and properties of seaweed to people everywhere. Eva and Peter would like everyone to know they collect their seaweed responsibly. Because of its ecological role, seaweed may be collected out of the sea only under special license. In New South Wales up to twenty litres of wash-up seaweed may be collected at any one time. The couple make it very clear that the seaweed should only be collected from clean, unpolluted areas.

   

Seaweed lights created by Eva and Peter

Eva and Peter worked yearsdeveloping materials and techniques that they use to create

these exquisite and unique lights.

 
 Click on images for larger view    

It all began thirty years ago, with the fulfilment of a college assignment to collect, preserve and identify seaweeds from the coast of Tasmania, a small part of a university course in Applied Algology sparked an interest which developed into a lifetime passion for seaweeds. Twenty years working in Europe did not stop their fascination for seaweeds, to the contrary they expanded their knowledge about their uses and preservation, particularly on the coast of France and Ireland.

 

Eva said "Returning to Australia in 2008, we were disappointed to find that most people here still regard seaweed as a smelly mess on our beautiful beaches." The Hornes have made it their goal to promote the awareness of seaweeds in our community.

 

Eva and Peter have recently taken part in an exhibition organised by the Killer Whale Museum. Eva says "Although our cards were very popular, larger displays were also requested. We developed a new technique for mounting seaweed on to rice paper and laminated these sheets to create large posters." The Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre in Eden were also very interested in displaying the laminated seaweed sheets. Coming from a family with a background in the lighting industry, the next step of displaying them as lights soon evolved. These are lights with a mission (Light up your life with seaweed ) to promote seaweeds as the valuable resource with enormous potential for our lives

 Ecklonia on the beach

 


Collecting Ecklonia

 


Drying Ecklonia

Eva finds Ecklonia especially beneficial for treating her aches and pains

 

Some of the personal uses Eva enjoys from her seaweed are:

 

Seaweed as Food: Eva uses this dried and granulated in soups, salads, on cereal rice dishes etc.

 

Skin Care: Eva will place dried seaweed in a dish, pour hot water over it then let it cool, draining the gelatinous fluid through a muslin bag, rubbing the still warm liquid over the body to remove dry skin. The gelatinous liquid also has soap properties.

 

Aches and Pains: Seaweed bath mainly used to treat aches and pains but today the skin nourishing aspects are appreciated. Combined with hot water seaweed will release it's soothing and moisturising properties.

 

Fertiliser: The contents of the muslin bag can be used as fertiliser on the garden. It can also be used dry.

 

A Cleaner: Seaweed has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Eva uses the extract as well as a cleaning agent. Eva says, "It leaves the ceramic as well as benches in the kitchen or bathroom beautifully clean and disinfected".

 

 

 Phyllospora, easily identified by its floats

is excellent for use as a garden fertilizer

 

Medical Aspects of Seaweed: Eva's personal experience has shown that Ecklonia seaweed gives wonderful relief for swollen arms or legs. Cover some fresh or dried fronds with hot water. Allow these to cool then wrap the now soft rubbery fronds around the swelling and secure with a bandage or towel. After a few hours, the fronds become quite hard and should be removed. Eva says when she tried this method, the swelling dissipated after two more treatments. Some seaweed have potential for use in cancer treatments. As with all new treatments, use only small amounts at the beginning to see your own reactions.

Contamination Free: It is very important that seaweed is collected only from clean beaches. Contaminants have potential to reduce or even destroy beneficial properties. The sea has a vast untapped potential. It can be very exciting to experiment yourself to find this power can be tamed for your uses.

 

For more information on anything you have read in this article please contact Eva and Peter  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.