Irish Moss Industry

     Irish Moss harvesting is another industry that has employed many people from Tignish over the years. The Irish Moss is a plant that can be found along with ocean floor in many different areas. It grows in clumps and attaches itself to rocks, shells and wood. This is done with the Irish Moss's stem that is attached to it's colorful bushy branch.
     Irish Moss tends to be harvested between early spring and late fall. The three different ways that Irish Moss is harvested includes the following:
               - By hand; with fork, scoop and rake.
               - By horse: hitched to a large moss scoop.
               - By fishing boat: With a wench and rake.
     Once the Irish Moss is gathered; workers allow it to dry in the sun by taking it home, spreading it out in a large open area, and turning it back and forth as it dries over several days. Next they clean it by hand and transport it to the Irish Moss plant to sell. The buyers use to Irish Moss to manufacture it into carrageen.

     Irish Moss has a long history of being used as a food and health aid. It has a high level of sulphur, vitamins, minerals, and iodine. It can be used in soap, natural skin moisturizer, laxative, home remedy for a sore throat, and chapped skin. It may be eaten as is or used as a thickening agent for a variety of food and health products.

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