For as long as I can remember my Dad, Grahame West, has talked about seaweed. Even back in the 1970's, way before it was "fashionable", Grahame was out spruiking the benefits of using seaweed to anyone who would listen.
In 1974 Grahame had visited the Wallace brothers in the Kiewa Valley in northern Victoria. Grahame and his brother Ashley were very interested in the Keyline method of farming, and during this visit were honoured to meet P.A.Yeomans himself, then in his 90's.
Grahame was immediately taken with the results the Wallaces were achieving with the "Algifert" seaweed they were using, and bought some from them.
Soon Grahame was selling the seaweed himself, and as the business grew he bought Northland Agencies Farm and Station Suppliers.
Working with farmers Australia wide and conducting numerous successful field trials, by the late 1980's his business had grown to be the largest distributor of Norwegian Ascophyllum nodosum in Australia.
In 2000 the business was sold and Grahame moved on to follow other passions, but he never stopped talking about seaweed.
Jump forward 16 years, Dad was "retired" but old customers were still ringing him at home to ask about seaweed!
Then at the beginning of 2016 Dad received a desperate phone call. It was an old customer from a cattle property in western Queensland who was experiencing severe drought. She wanted to know whether Grahame thought the seaweed would help her starving cattle, and of course he said "Yes!"
Dad and I scoured the internet but we were unable to find the pure dry soluble Ascophyllum nodosum granules available anywhere in Australia. We decided that we had to do it again - we had to get this amazing product out there and make it available to everyone.
Things have changed a little. Our Norwegian friends are now part of a huge company, and the product is no longer called "Algifert". But it is still the exact same amazing product that Grahame has sold since the 1970s and we simply call it Seaweed, because that's what it is! It feels good to have the stability and guaranteed supply of a large company backing us, and we sleep well at night in the knowledge that Norway have such incredibly high environmental and sustainability standards.
So here we are... Dad and Mum and daughter, Grahame and Edna and Liz, proud to be helping anyone and everyone from backyard gardeners to large scale farmers produce the best food possible.
And I am proud to be working with my Dad while he once again spruiks the incredible benefits of using seaweed.
Because so many people have asked...
We sent Margaret - our old friend from western Queensland - a couple of kilos of soluble seaweed to put in her cow's drinking water, and thankfully it did help her save many of her cattle. They are in a part of Australia that is still in terrible drought, but now if she has a cow that's down she just mixes up a bottle full of SEA Soluble and pours it down their throat. She says that one day she looked at her cattle and thought... if it's doing so much for them I wonder if it would do the same for me?!
But that's a story for another day...