Category: Reflections

Aveline Kushi Award


“He looks like Spiderman!” That’s what Midori Kushi (right) giggled last week when I stripped off my banquet clothes to reveal a wetsuit, and then I pulled on a hood and brandished a harvest knife at the awards ceremony of the summer macrobiotic conference in Basking Ridge NJ.


After Michio Kushi gave me the Aveline Kushi award for 40 years of service, providing highest quality seaweed, I sang a few songs that had sprung from the years of work, and I told a few stories. In the end, the audience realized that is a working example of applied spiritual practices that refine the path of right livelihood in this world.

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Older Sister, Younger Brother

Seaweed is flexible, tenacious, and immersed in the deep pulses of watery consciousness held in the depths of our blue planet. Since my life is integrated with these patterns of wholeness, my healing of this recent “head bonk” (subdural hematoma) is progressing smoothly. Immersed in the deep pulses of ocean/universe, I am flexible and tenacious. I feel much gratitude for the prayers and letters of support filled with positive advice and information that you have sent my way via the post, the internet, and the Cosmic Internet. Thank you from my heart.


Today I am on the road with Nina. We are traveling to Basking Ridge NJ to the summer macrobiotic conference where I will be presented the Aveline Kushi award for 40 years of service to the macrobiotic community. More about that later.


I promised you a soup recipe, and it comes with a love story. Love as in “We will be dependable people for each other. We will support each other’s growth and differentiation apart from ourselves. We will remain immersed in the realm of affectionate talk and kind, sensuous touch. We will transcend gender differences and focus our relationship in the realm of the heart.” Paba and Maduma. Older sister, younger brother.

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Dad Got a Pretty Good Bonk on the Head!


In June I accidentally bumped my head on the overhead hatchback of our old blue caravan while I was loading boxes of seaweed in the dark. I developed a subdural hematoma and Sarah and Nina saved my life, taking me to the hospital. They sat with me for six days in intensive care. I’m not stabilized yet. I’m still bleeding. Right now, we’re using drug therapy to strengthen my dura, and then we’ll decide if I have to have further surgery. Now, especially, your positive thoughts and prayers can make a difference.

As many of you know, I’ve always used the power of prayer, holding a positive image and intention while taking positive actions. What else could you say about me when I get up at two in the morning to harvest kelp in the dark, three miles from home? I’m working for you!



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Alaria and The Day of Nourishing Support


For the past 40 years, I’ve harvested alaria from the ledges around the Sally Islands which are within a three mile radius of my home on the coast of Maine. Here are some things I know about this seaweed:


  • Alaria is the Atlantic cousin to Pacific wakame.
  • Alaria is the most alkaline-forming food in my kitchen.
  • Alaria has the highest calcium content of all the seaweeds I harvest.
  • Alaria’s iodine content is moderate, suited to all blood types.
  • If you want to prevent osteoporosis and protect your thyroid from radioactive iodine being released into the atmosphere and the food chain, eat three pounds per year. That’s just 3-4 grams per day.
  • Your body is mostly water and it transacts with your food at the level of water. Learn to use wet recipes. Avoid roasting seaweeds because iodine is volatile, and you will lose it to the air. There are many good recipes at and additional soup recipes on this blog.


So long as I don’t harvest the deep perennial plants (spore stock), the annual form of the plant comes back in predictable quantities each year. These annuals are destroyed by winter ice storms. My apprentices and I have named the ledges where alaria grows according to the sustainable yields and/or the characteristics of the ledges: “Eastern Island was abundant with 120 bushels! In the Three Sisters Ledges, Cliff gave us 40! Haystack had 20! Placid surprised us with 30! Sally Island gave us 20! Ankle Twister gave us 15 bushels on a rough day! Old Woman was shorn of 8! Old Man had enough alaria whiskers for 6! Bonney Chess gave us 20, and the seals were curious and friendly!” Already my apprentices are letting me know that they want to come back next year and do it again. Paba could learn the work of crew leader from me and my son Jay who now works as an engineer, testing safety systems in cars. Paba has good strength, ambition, and humor. Home-schooled, she’s a free spirit and an independent learner. I miss her laughter.

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Safe Journey, Father…..

I operate Maine Seaweed Company like a CSA (community supported agriculture), and visitors are welcome to come for a weekend (there’s no charge) in order to discover the source and spirit of their food.  During the first week of August, eight Russians and a Bulgarian from New York City came for a visit that they had been planning for weeks.  They arrived after dark.  We had one visitor already, and an apprentice, and Nina and myself made thirteen people that night, wondering what the next day would bring.

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Moving Toward the Light: A Sweet and Sour Dish for Spring

In deep winter, we tend to eat more heavily cooked, salted and fatty foods, but now it’s time to lighten up. This is a basic sweet and sour dish, easy as making a salad and dressing. Once you have made it, you will come up with infinite variations. First, the sauce: In a cup and […]

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Umami Soup

Umami is the fifth taste, after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Both the tongue and the stomach have receptors for the taste which can be described as savory, meaty, or brothy. The umami receptors signal the body to start digesting foods, especially proteins. Umami is an underlying taste that makes everything else in this soup […]

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Sea Gypsy Soup

This is a late fall soup that’s been warming us up. Outside there’s a bit of snow on the ground, daylight is short, and we spend more time in the kitchen, slow cooking our food. This soup has the warm colors of orange vegetables, flecked with green vegetables. Make a big pot, and I’ll show […]

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Building an Ark for the Winter Greens

Some apprentices showed up in early fall and we framed up a new greenhouse. I’m totally happy with the way it turned out. An unheated greenhouse gives me the climate of New Jersey. The greens will freeze, but kale roots stay alive, and in the spring they will grow new tops (I intend to snap […]

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Pear-Dulse Salad

Taste it! Sliced pears (soaked in lemon water to prevent browning) encircling a bed of grated carrot, topped with chopped celery, toasted pecans, and rehydrated dulse cut finely with scissors or knife. Dress with fresh orange juice and olive oil, half & half.

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