My friend has a wonderful garden on mainland Orkney. It has trees. Yes, you heard me right; trees. In amongst them were these beautiful velvet crab boxes.
In the south of England these would sell for a small fortune with their romantic provenance, but here they’re just a pile of waste wood. They would make ideal vegetable boxes if lined and would give perfect growing conditions for some herbs or salad leaves.
Velvet Crabs are an important catch in Orkney: In 2009, fisheries landed 2,300 tonnes of velvet crab into Scotland with a value of £6.2 million. It’s almost impossible to buy them in the UK as they’re all exported to southern Europe where the people of Spain have a taste for them. It’s similar to the Cornish pilchard industry – a luxury and a delicacy abroad, ignored at home. I’d love to taste them.