The first dulse harvest of the year is happening! Last year I was so new to this practice that I missed a few points but on the fourth try I felt comfortable…. It’s a busy time and our friend Patrick always invited a big group along. So I decided to head out an hour early to take in the quiet and commune with nature before everyone else arrives.
Dulsing is usually best during a low tide cycle around a new or a full moon. Earlier in the season (like around the June full moon) we collect the most tender dulse. Dulse is not an animal nor a vegetable. It is in its own category right along with seaweed and kelp. Dulse is easy to prepare: you pick it off the ocean floor, remove any small t ock’s or hermit crabs, rinse in the clear ocean water and place into a net bag. Once the bag gets heavy you spread the dulse out on the hot beach rocks (if you have some netting it is helpful) and let the sun do it’s work while you visit with the rest of the group. Checking on the dulse and turning it at least once is recommended before you store it in a paper bag. I add dulse to our dogs’ meals, Colin lives to eat it out of the bag and I use it in cooking. Dulse adds great umami flavour to soups and stews.
Today we walked a fair distance to reach dulse that was abundant and mature enough to harvest. The first few minutes were chilly with our feet adjusting to the cold water. A few deep breaths and all was well. We carefully picked, made sure to leave the roots attached to the rocks for regrowth and with this our first time out this year we didn’t fill our mesh bags to bursting.
I have learned to pack some mesh to spread the dulse out on for drying on the sun.
The drawback with the mesh is that the drying dulse tends to blow away with the wind but at least I don’t have rocks to scrape off later…
What does one do while drying dulse? We walk, we visit with friends, build a fire, roast Hot Dogs… and best of all: we wait for the Meeting of the Waters!
What is the “Meeting of the Waters”? you ask… we gather right in front of the Big Island during the low tide and literally watch the tide rushing in. It’s amazing to watch but even better to experience as the warm waters of the Bay of Fundy surrounds our feet and within seconds rises well above our knees! Check out the video I am posting on my Instagram feed @annahergert.
We left the beach around 1:30 pm with the tide slowly reaching its highest point! It’s always a great view, whether we arrive or leave.
Happy Thursday! May your day be filled with sunshine. Best wishes, Anna