r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: a Highland croft in May

a Highland croft in May

After cutting rushes I turned to a tougher job, for, lacking my pony, I had to creel the seaweed on my own back. The weed lay on the shore in a rough semi-circle like a rusty scimitar. It was in that half-decayed condition which is so good for the fields yet is unpleasant to touch. I could have put on rubber gloves, but the weed is the very best of hand softeners, and I found the under layers warm. The loch water was so crystal clear that it almost tempted me in for a swim, but the appearance was sufficient, for a test with the pinkie nearly paralysed me.

Big farmers sometimes regard crofters as being behind the times, but with no more than lime or shell sand, seaweed and dung, we are enriching our land, while they with chemical fertilisers, will ultimately impoverish theirs beyond retrieving. I have tasted some of the produce grown by "medicine" and whether it is grass for beast or cabbages for humans, I think it is responsible for some of the diseases of man and beast. The forced production of eggs is spoiling the hens, and the unnatural milk yield is spoiling the cows. In my grandmother's day the cures for human ills were such as sea water, horn broth and elm bark, and folk lived actively to a great age. The cattle had no more when ill than boiled seaweed or home-made cod liver oil, and half the diseases that keep vets busy today were unknown.


Wendy Wood, excerpt From a Highland Croft (1952)

6 comments:

joo said...

I had to enlarge the photo to see those lovely dogs.
I reckon that the loch water is still as crystal clearas it used to be in the 50s:)

Anonymous said...

I remember going to the shore to lift seaweed for my grandad's cows. They were given this mixed with treacle and some other meal (can't remember what) but it had to be picked very carefully as close to the sea as possible.....that's why we see sheep on the shore when the tide is out

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Lizzie
thank you my dear friend for your lovely birthday wishes.. Gee I might have to try Gimpy just so we can be Gimpy Sisters.. hahahaha.. although does it work for MAC? will have to have a look....

So I think I need some of this seaweed here to cure what ills me... another fascinating image dear Lizzie!!! have a wonderful week.. xxx Julie

ER said...

I used to go everywhere with those two collies, Joo. One's the mother of the other. Lovely dogs. And yes, that water is just as clear...as you well know. ;)

Hello JM! i've been reading up on the benefits of seaweed for farm animals. It's benefits have been rediscovered, the boost to livestock's immunity and it reduces methane 'emissions.'It begs the question, if we had continued this healthy practice, would our livestock have been infected with foot and mouth? I doubt it.

Yessir, Miss Julie, MAC users can install GIMP, no problem! I just wish the online manual wasn't so long, sheesh! Thankfully, there are YouTube tutorials to help. ;)

will-Art said...

I like your photos very much!

ER said...

Thank you for your kind words, will-Art! :)