I started thinking about producing Sea Salt when moving back to the Island from Somerset a couple of years ago. I had seen a programme about sea salt looking at production abroad and in the Uk and the thought came to me “why on earth doesn’t anyone on the Island do this”.
Having trained as a musician and taught for many years in Somerset, I felt it was time to look at a new career. My father was in farming, so maybe this was in my blood after all – sea salt harvesting is farming the sea. I was brought up helping my father to milk cows and doing odd jobs on farms with the Kentish countryside in my blood.
My experiments started with a slow cooker filled with seawater sans lid, as I knew enough about evaporation at that early stage to understand that the lid needed to be off. This progressed to a small fleet of slow cookers. Various research and development prototypes to evaporate seawater naturally using wind and sun emerged on a site I found in Yafford, belonging to Joy and Keith Verrinder. This same site is currently home to Wight Salt, producing sea salt naturally and sustainably.
I will make the sea the centre stage in all that I do, harvesting the salt and bringing out other products based on the sea, like the Seasoning Spray. There will be a Wight Salt Scrub with an added unique and unusual twist (you won’t get it however hard you think, I promise) and I will revive the art of brining using seawater, again, something ancient but neglected in this country and grow some vegetables using seawater, something Dutch farms do in the Polder reclaimed land. Also, the history of salt production in this region has been long neglected, something being corrected right now and developed for the public with immense scope to take further. The watercycle, the science of evaporation and how sea salt is harvested will be a developing theme with resources and talks planned.
I’m enjoying the moment and look forward to sharing all of this as it develops. Here’s to sustainability by using the abundance of the sea and unlocking its hidden treasures in many diverse ways for years to come!
Owner, Wight Salt