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#94670 - 02/05/03 08:23 PM vraic``  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
In searching for of troy's word for Channel Island sweater 'garcy" I encountered the word
"vraicing" referring to important collection and spreading of seaweed on the poor soils of
the islands. It turned out that "vraic" is root of "wrack" which is often used to refer to
seaweed cast up on shore. The article also mentiond "focus" which is properly "fucus"
which is the name of the seaweed that has small round air containing structues to enable
the seaweed to be buoyant and reach up to the light.
All of the islands in the channel and between UK and Ireland used seaweed as combination
mulch and fertizer. A couple years when I was living on Cape Cod I raised potatoes by just
tilling soil, burying some fertilizer below hills, putting seed potato pieces on top of hill, and
covering them with a foot of a long thin filament type seaweed. I had no weeds, and at
harvest time, no digging to do, and the potatoes were large and blemish free. The seaweed
prevented any weeds from growing before next planting.

No picture of Jersey life would be complete which omitted an account of the “vraic” harvest.
Vraic is sea-weed; it is a corruption of the French word “varech,” which means literally
sea-weed, though it is not always applied to the common “focus” that large, coarse, common
sea-weed with bladders, known to all who have ever paid even a day’s visit to the sea-side. A
young lady who was going to pick up delicate feathery sea-weeds for an album would not say
she was going “vraicking,” or to gather “vraic.” "

;url]www.societe-jersiaise.org/wwwboard/messages/521.html[/url]


#94671 - 02/08/03 04:15 PM Re: vraic``  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,400
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel
of troy  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 5,400
rego park
RE:I had no weeds, and at harvest time, no digging to do, and the potatoes were large and blemish free. The seaweed prevented any weeds from growing before next planting.

it was common to use sea weeds as fertilizer, and salt hay (hay from grasses grown in salt marshes) as mulch in times past. many of them have seeds that will only germinate in brackish water, so they do not create weed problems they way letting a field go fallow, and be planted with rye grass or or grass the was plowed back into the earth would.

but vraic is a new word... is vraic {wrack} related to wrack and ruin? --(is this a YART? i dimmly recall some discussion of this--something about wrack and wreck some time ago...)



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