Lachlan MacPhail carting seaweed
Photograph of Lachlan MacPhail carting seaweed
Courtesy of Mr Ailig MacArthur
Lachlan MacPhail, originally from Luing, is pictured with a cartload of seaweed outside the shepherd’s cottage where he lived in Crossapol. A fork has been stuck in the back of the cart to stop the seaweed slipping off.
Gathered from March to May, the seaweed is spread on grass or on ground to be planted with corn or potatoes. Red seaweed known as ‘bàrr-dearg’ was considered the best for this purpose but only came ashore on certain tides usually in the month of May.
The soils of Tiree are predominantly light and sandy and need feeding with organic matter every year to keep their fertility. Although not considered as good a fertiliser as manure, seaweed improves the condition of the soil and aids water retention.
Black and white photograph of Lachlann MacPhail, Crossapol.
Lachlan MacPhail from Luing with a cartload of seaweed outside the shepherd’s cottage where he lived in Crossapol, Tiree, probably taken in the early 20th century.