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Karengo seaweed and Grovetown Lagoon

Starting off my very first blog and it being the middle of winter requires a defrosting of the brain. Imagine my relief when I read that Blenheim is leading the sun race for 2015. Even better we have enjoyed an extra 189.4 hours of sunshine compared to 2014 so far – already the icicles are melting slowly!

KarengoThis week I learnt about Karengo which is a seaweed that grows during the winter months. It is harvested off the tidal rocks and dies back in the summer. Karengo has a very high nutritional value and was an important part of Maori diet. Apparently it tastes a bit like oysters and can be dried, lasting forever and then reconstituted by adding hot water. The Rangitane Hunters and Gatherers Portfolio went to Okiwi Bay (North of Kaikoura) to teach traditional methods of food collection and preparation to the younger iwi members.

I have heard a lot about Grovetown Lagoon and the many bird species residing there, but was rather embarrassed at not knowing where it is. Having asked a few friends, I felt better when they also admitted ignorance of its exact location. A quick call to Blenheim I-SITE and now I have a map to follow. Mike and I will head out this week to explore and also discover more about the Wetland Warrior volunteers who are restoring the lagoon to its natural state. There is a 3km path being laid by community groups also helping with the project. An ancient sacred Maori Cemetery lies nearby which I think is being renovated, but I will report back on what we find.

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