This past weekend, Ben and I and the boys headed out to collect eelgrass for the garden. Eelgrass looks kind of like seaweed, but, as I mentioned in last years post about gathering eelgrass, it’s technically a flowering plant (though you’d never know it by looking at it) that grows in salt water in shallow, marshy areas. We love to use it as mulch. It’s great at keeping the weeds down, it’s great for the soil as it decomposes, and it’s free. Eelgrass often washes up loose on the beaches, leaving big piles of the stuff along the shore, in various stages of decay. (Just to be clear, we don’t take any that’s still growing and alive–just the stuff that’s already dead and has washed up). For some reason there wasn’t much to be found at the place we usually look, so we headed off to a new spot along the shore that my parents had told us about. We were thrilled to see that there was a lot of it there, and we came across a couple of other folks collecting it as well. It was a gorgeous day, and we found ourselves having an unexpectedly relaxed, really pleasant morning together–hanging out in the sun, having a picnic lunch, checking out the amazing amount of horseshoe crabs washed up in the marsh and all along the waters edge (we saw at least 30 of them–no kidding–and they were very active!), and leisurely stuffing big armfuls of smelly eelgrass into trash bags. Who knew that a morning spent digging our hands into decomposing vegetation could be so enjoyable?!