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😇 ~ World Wellness Day ~ 😇
To mark World Wellness Day, we've decided to go against the museum's past 🏛🏭 and offer you a day full of gentleness and creativity 😇 After an immersive introduction to mindfulness in the maritime and industrial world of canneries 🏭🌊 guided by the museum's cultural mediator 🏛 you'll have the opportunity to take part in a creative workshop based around sensitive & memory cards 🎴imagined by the artist 👩🎨 Elucidée.
🗓 Saturday 10 June 2023
⚠ Limited capacity (10 places available)
🗒🖊 Bookings only by email (email@example.com)
⏳ Total length of experience: 2h30 (30-minute immersion + 2h00 creative workshop)
2⃣ Your choice of sessions: 10am-12.30pm or 2pm-4.30pm
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Algae play an important role in ecology. Found in oceans, rivers, lakes and even on land, they are more than just marine plants. Their presence affects many aspects of our environment, from climate regulation to the preservation of biodiversity. In this article you will discover how important algae are to ecosystems and why we should preserve them.
A high source of oxygen
Algae produce much of the oxygen we consume. Through photosynthesis, they capture sunlight and absorb carbon dioxide, while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. It has been estimated that almost half of the oxygen we breathe comes from algae. At a time of increasing deforestation, the role of algae is set to change to maintain a balance in the air we breathe.
A positive impact on the climate
They also have a significant impact on the climate of our planet. As they capture CO2 during photosynthesis, they play a major role, just like land plants, in regulating this greenhouse gas. By doing so, they help to mitigate climate change by limiting the increase in the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere.
A natural filter in the water
Algae act as natural filters in aquatic ecosystems. They absorb nitrogen and phosphorus from wastewater and agricultural runoff, thereby reducing pollution of marine areas. This capacity is essential to keep aquatic organisms alive and to maintain water quality. However, as the years go by and pollution increases, some species of algae grow too much thanks to the nutrients they ingest. An example we all know in Brittany is the green algae tides which are responsible for many accidents.
A habitat for many species
They provide a vital habitat for many aquatic species. Micro-organisms, fish and marine mammals use algae in a variety of ways: as a nursery, as a breeding ground and as a refuge. They are also a source of food for many marine organisms. They are therefore essential for maintaining marine biodiversity and protecting ecosystems.
Algoculture: a practice that is good for the environment
With the increasing popularity of seaweed around the world, a new practice has been devised to meet the demand. This is algoculture, a practice that refers to the mass cultivation of seaweed. This type of cultivation has a positive impact on the environment and ecology. As you can see in this article, algae are crucial for maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems and for combating climate change. Moreover, this type of cultivation does not require the use of fertilisers or pesticides.
Some programmes and projects to protect these marine plants:
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Seaweed has been a part of people's diet for thousands of years. Indeed, the first traces of seaweed consumption by humans can be traced back to 14,000 years ago. Over the centuries, they have managed to find their place in gastronomy. In this article, you will discover how their use developed.
Seaweed consumption in the world through the centuries
Seaweed was particularly consumed by coastal dwellers around the world. The Celts and Vikings consumed certain seaweeds during their long journeys, particularly dulse, which protected them from scurvy, among other things. In North America and Europe, seaweed was never forgotten in times of famine by coastal populations. In Ireland, during the Great Famine (1845-1852), farmers used seaweed to make fertiliser for their fields or as a supplement to their food. The Inuit, the Hawaiians as well as the Chileans and Peruvians also consumed seaweed. When the conquistadores arrived in Peru and Chile, they tried to prevent the local communities from eating the seaweed. Eventually, they added it to their own diet. Another part of the world has always been attracted to this food: Asia, which nowadays consumes the most seaweed.
The place of seaweed in Asia
In Asia, the consumption of seaweed is widespread. In Japan, it has been part of the culinary culture for thousands of years. In 701, Japanese law stipulated that the precious seaweeds Wakame and Nori could be used to pay taxes. It was the favourite food of the imperial court. Leftover imperial food was sold on the market. Today, the Japanese consume a wide variety of seaweeds, including Nori, Wakame, Kombu and Agar-agar. Nori is used to wrap sushi, while Wakame is often used in salads and soups.
In China, the consumption of seaweed dates back more than 2,000 years. Seaweed is used in many traditional Chinese dishes, including soups and stir-fried vegetable dishes. Seaweed has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat diseases.
In Korea, the consumption of seaweed also dates back centuries. Jeju Island in South Korea is famous for the Haenyeo (or "sea women"). They harvested seaweed and molluscs from depths of more than 10 metres while scuba diving. Part of their harvest was given to the authorities. Seaweed is a common ingredient in Korean cuisine, especially in fermented vegetable dishes such as kimchi. Seaweed is also used to make miyeok-guk, a traditional Korean soup served for holidays and celebrations.
Millennia ago, seaweed consumption in Asia was more common among coastal populations who had easy access to these foods. However, seaweed was consumed at different levels of society, both by the rich and the poor. In China, it was considered a food of choice by the nobility and the upper class, but it was also consumed by peasants and the lower classes.
The development of the use of seaweed in French gastronomy
In France, seaweed began to be popularised in gastronomy in the 1970s, mainly through the efforts of Breton chefs who sought to rediscover the traditional ingredients of their region. At that time, seaweed consumption was still relatively rare outside Brittany, but it gradually gained popularity in the following decades. Today, seaweed is widely used in French cuisine, whether to add flavour and texture to dishes, or to create new and innovative seaweed-based recipes. In Loctudy, you can find this food in many dishes at the AC Le Levier restaurant. The development of seaweed in French gastronomy is explained by the development of a desire to eat better, to have a more sustainable and environmentally friendly diet. Seaweed is a renewable marine resource and can be grown in a sustainable way, making it an ecological and responsible ingredient for cooking. It is also very popular because of its high nutritional value and umami taste. This flavour is characterised by its depth and length in the mouth, but also by its roundness.
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Seaweed is very abundant in Brittany, the region that produces the most in France. In this article, you will discover or re-discover the history of seaweed harvesting throughout the ages in Brittany.
A region that produces 65,000 tonnes of seaweed per year
Brittany is a region where life is good, which is why we can find large quantities of seaweed in our waters. With our strong tides that provide nutrients, our still preserved waters, our temperate currents, and our diverse marine spaces, it can be said that our beautiful region is truly the perfect place for seaweed to grow. As a result, many seaweed-producing companies have sprung up. In Loctudy, for example, we find the Algolesko company: it cultivates seaweed off Lesconil in the Pays Bigouden in an area classified as Natura 2000 and sells it all over the world! Moreover, Brittany is the leading producer of seaweed in Europe and the tenth largest in the world, with a production of 65,000 tonnes per year. But this is nothing new: harvesting seaweed is an old local tradition.
The harvesting of seaweed in the 14th century
Brittany is a region where seaweed is very abundant. During the Middle Ages, it was harvested by the inhabitants to supplement their income. As most of them were farmers, they used seaweed as fertiliser, for feeding cows and as fuel. They also sold part of their harvest to farmers in the hinterland. This was a family activity. The seaweed could be harvested on the shore or further out to sea. Then it was transferred to carts.
17th - 19th century: new uses for seaweed
In the 17th century, the workforce specialising in the harvesting of seaweed increased. It was discovered that the burning of seaweed could produce soda ash, which could then be used in the manufacture of glass. Thanks to this discovery, production intensified and more and more Bretons took up the profession of seaweed harvesters. Two centuries later, a new technique was discovered: the iodine from the burnt seaweed could be used for pharmaceutical purposes. This discovery once again allowed the population to develop their activities around this product.
Harvesting seaweed on the Breton islands
In the Breton islands, this practice was as popular, if not more so, than on the mainland, which created tensions between the islanders and the mainlanders.
The harvesting of seaweed is a different activity on the islands. Indeed, along with fishing, it was the main activity and source of income for the inhabitants. In 1890, a decree was issued on the mainland to prohibit the collection of seaweed during certain periods of the year: anger rose on the islands, particularly in Ouessant. According to the islanders, the rules could not be the same everywhere, as the fuel was lacking on the island. Moreover, most of the population used dried seaweed for cooking. The harvesting of seaweed on the islands was different from that on the mainland. The women were in charge of the harvesting because the men were usually engaged in the navy or in fishing. The harvest was divided among all the islanders.
Modernisation of seaweed harvesting
Due to the increasing demand for seaweed, the harvesting of seaweed had to be modernised to allow for a larger and more efficient production. Therefore, new types of vessels were introduced. However, despite the modernisation of the vessels, the safety of the seaweed harvesters was still at risk. In order to fetch this resource, the crews of these ships took many risks by venturing into dangerous areas. Unfortunately, this situation led to several shipwrecks of seaweed vessels in the 1990s, such as the "Concorde" and the "Tali". This situation has prompted those involved in the sector to consider ways of improving the safety of seaweed harvesters and limiting the risks associated with this activity.
The decline of the seaweed trade
In the 2000s, the profession of seaweed grower became less attractive. Indeed, fewer and fewer people in Brittany wanted to do this job. This was mainly due to the dangers associated with seaweed harvesting at sea, such as difficult weather conditions, the risk of drowning and the accidents associated with the use of heavy tools. In addition, the industrialisation of seaweed production has led to a decrease in demand for the manual work of seaweed harvesters, which has contributed to the decline in the attractiveness of this traditional profession in Brittany. However, a new practice has started to slowly developing: the cultivation of seaweed. A few aquaculture farms have been set up in Brittany, which have made it possible to cultivate better quality algae, while respecting the environment.
The development of seaweed cultivation
From 2010 onwards, the market for seaweed was important worldwide. However, seaweed cultivation in Brittany was stagnating. Thanks to a few people who were trying to develop this resource, it began to grow. The objective of the actors in this sector was to propose a reasoned and sustainable culture, while limiting their impact on the environment and respecting the natural cycles of marine ecosystems. They wanted to preserve the region's biodiversity while meeting the growing demand for seaweed-based products worldwide. Moreover, by developing this local resource, they contributed to job creation and economic development in Brittany, while reinforcing regional pride and identity. Thus, seaweed farming in Brittany has the potential to become a successful example of sustainable and responsible maritime agriculture.
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🚫🏛 ~ MUSEUM FARM ~ 🏛🚫
🌨🚧 ~ Winter technical closure ~🚧🌨
From Friday 20 January to Monday 30 January inclusive, the museum will be closed to the public. We look forward to seeing you soon
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🥳📜🖌 ~ Illustration of a party recipe ~ 🖌📜 🥳
During the Christmas holidays🎄🎁🎅🧑🎄 we propose you to take part in a family workshop 🎨👪 to illustrate a recipe 📜🖌 for the festive season 🥳🎆 This is the opportunity for you to spend a convivial and creative moment with your family with the illustrator Chloé Fraser 👩🎨 inspired by the book "Une cuisine qui sent bon les soupes du monde" 📖🍳🌍 published by Rue du Monde.
➡ Festive recipe illustration workshop
🗓 Wednesday 21 & 28 December 2022
⌚ from 10:00 to 12:00
⚠ Limited number of seats, by prior reservation only