Three Long Line Kelp Growers students reflect on their experience of the program

Long Line Kelp Growers students Breannah Morris, Madison Barbour and Leah Darling prepare kelp for seeding as Sarah Redmond (l) of Springtide Seaweed supervises their work.

When I get to Herring Gut I am really happy…

My name is Madison Barbour and I have been working with Herring Gut Learning Center for over three years. Over the years that I have been with Herring Gut I’ve learned a lot, including some soft skills like talking in front of a crowd and respecting everyone. I feel motivated to do more work now because of my success at Herring Gut. I was chosen to be in Herring Gut because I’m more of a hands-on kind of learner. It was very fun getting to get in the boat and checking on the kelp and pulling out rockweed. We pull the rockweed out because the rockweed blocks the kelp from photosynthesizing.

When the students, including myself, arrive at Herring Gut we start off with a check in, as in seeing how everyone’s doing. Once that is done, some of the time we play a game that has to do with kelp using facts about the kelp for the new students to learn.

We have to find “sorus” in order to grow the kelp. Sorus contains microscopic seeds that we release from the kelp and let attach to a line. We mainly focus on making sure that when we prep the sorus, we don’t contaminate the kelp. Once the kelp has grown to about an inch or so, we attach the line onto the kelp farm. Around once a month we do water quality to make sure that the water doesn’t have anything wrong with it and it’s not hurting the kelp.

When I get to Herring Gut I am really happy because there is always a fun project to do that is hands-on. Herring Gut has boosted my confidence and I have been getting more interested in school because Herring Gut has made me more interested in learning.
—Barbour is an 8th grade student.

This year I can’t wait to make the products.

My name is Leah Darling and this is my second year at Herring Gut Learning Center. Our company is called LLKG, which stands for Long Line Kelp Growers. Our business is about learning about kelp and making products from kelp.

Last year we designed our own kelp farms. I was in a group with Maisie to make our kelp farm. Then we seeded the spools and put them on our farms.

While we waited, we took the kelp we had grown last year and made products. I made bath bombs. This year I want to make smoothies. I love smoothies. This year I can’t wait to make the products. Making products is one of my favorite things to do at Herring Gut. We had a few sales at the school. We had the Valentine’s Day sale and other sales. We sold kelp bath bombs, paper kelp hearts with seeds embedded in them, cookies and nail polish.

Near the end of the year we took our kelp off of our farms. Maisie and mine was pretty big. We hung it up in the shack to dry. I really liked going in the boats and designing the kelp farms.

Also last year we gave a lot of tours. We had to show teachers and students around the place. At the end of the year last year we took the 7th and 6th graders on a tour through Herring Gut and told them how it works. It was like a step-up day almost. We showed our products and gave out samples. We did the same for the 5th graders last year, too. Now we have eight students in grades 6-8 doing Herring Gut this year. I hope they have a fantastic year working at Herring Gut Learning Center and being a Long Line Kelp Grower.
—Darling is an 8th grade student.

I have learned a lot of skills…

My name is Breannah Morris and this is my third year working at Herring Gut Learning Center. I have enjoyed my time down here. We have done lots of cool things, such as growing kelp. Growing kelp is very fun and interesting. And it’s very hard work, especially when I had to go out in a row boat during a snowstorm and pull up a very heavy kelp farm, to see if we were making progress.

Once the kelp is all grown, we pull it up and go through the process of rinsing the kelp off and hanging it up to dry. Then we start to create products. Some of the products LLKG (Long Line Kelp Growers) created are: “Kelp SEAsoning, Kelp bath bombs, Kelp cookies, Kelp nail polish, and many others products. The money we make from selling products goes right back into our student-owned business to buy more supplies, go on field trips and to improve our business as well.

LLKG will be publishing a book at the end of the school year so the community can learn more about what our company does. Being able to be a part of this wonderful program means a lot to me. I have learned a lot of skills, soft skills like speaking and being respectful in my dealings with others, and hard skills, even big things like how to row a boat.
—Morris is an 8th grade student.

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