Collecting the ‘Mother Kelps’
Midwinter, preferably December and January, is the right time to collect parent sugar kelp blades which at that time have formed sori (areas full of spores, the kelp’s propagules).
Here, we collect mature sugar kelp blades which we send to Hortimare, the company that specialises on seaweed propagation (the equivalent of a seed producer in agriculture). They will extract our spores and propagate them in cultures. They control the process of further development which includes a further life stage – the microscopic ‘gametophytes’.
Once, we are ready to ‘seed’ the microscopic gametophytes onto our rope cultures (this happens in the fall), we will receive the material back from Hortimare