Part of the celebration of myths and legends year from VisitWales and the #FindYourEpic campaign
In keeping with this year’s theme for Wales, ‘The Year of Legends’ The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company will be celebrating an inspiring woman who spent time studying seaweed in Wales. On the afternoon of Friday 14th April, it is ‘Mother of the Sea Day’ at Café Môr, Freshwater West.
In the early 1900’s the Japanese, known for their love of seaweed, were facing a crisis. Poor seaweed harvests year after year and little knowledge of what was causing the dwindling growth of their beloved sushi seaweed, ‘nori’, meant that they were facing losing seaweed from their diet.
Meanwhile here in the UK, unknowing of the crisis in Japan, a British scientist, Kathleen Drew-Baker was researching laver (nori) on the Welsh coast. Despite controversially continuing her study after getting married before eventually losing her place as a lecturer at the University of Manchester, Dr. Drew-Baker made discoveries about the life cycle of nori and saved the Japanese seaweed industry. Sadly she did this without ever knowing she’d made an impact before her death in 1957.
Every year on the 14th April Japanese fishermen and nori farmers visit a shrine for Kathleen Drew-Baker in Uto, South of the country to celebrate her discoveries. They call this day Mother of the Sea Day.
Jonathan Williams and Fran Barnikel from The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Co were lucky enough to visit the shrine to Dr. Drew-Baker in October 2016. There they sprinkled Welsh laver seaweed from Freshwater West as a nod to the inspiring woman.
Visitors to the award-winning beachside mobile café on Friday can expect live music between 12:30 and 1:30 from local musician Robbie Price, a sea-themed photo booth competition and free tasters for customers.
FBM Holidays recently visited Café Môr on their April 1st open day at Freshwater West and caught up with Jonathan and his new team for the season. We wish them all the very best for the year, as well as hoping their event for the Year of Legends is a huge success.