When you think about sustainable agriculture, organic farms, eco-communities and quality of life in Asheville and the towns surrounding Her, you may wonder if this post is simply nugacity in an otherwise (hopefully) worthy landscape.
However, some redeeming wisdom possibly survives- especially if you are a lover of guineafowl. So I'm gonna' take the risk, and tell this story . . .
"Which One's the Guinea?"
(A Carolina Blue Skies Local Color Story).
Once upon a time, approximately 11 miles from downtown Asheville; or 7 miles from the where bustling Patton Avenue intersects Highway 63; or 5 miles from dear "Green Asheville's" city limits; or 1/2 mile from the new Leicester Post Office, there was a beautiful organic farm- on Bright Blue Sky Lane-called Asheville Farm.
Asheville Farm was, and still is to this very day home to a "healthy, pampered collection " of Icelandic sheep, dairy goats, a small but growing orchard of chemical-free blueberries, peaches, plums, apples and pears and garden of tomatoes, peppers, and other fresh vegetables ( and- YES!-) free-range Guinea fowl and chickens!
These happy birds enjoy organic poultry feed of grain, minerals, probiotics and flax seedbecause they live on one of many of Asheville's organic, sustainable farms.
Committed to sustainable farming and pasturing methods, the owners of this farm also are receptive to talking with visitors about what it takes to create this environment. This is a real plus for our clients who more and more are telling us they want to learn about sustainable practices in agriculture.
In general, here in the Greater Asheville area, whether you live here, are visiting or relocating, you will notice that people enjoy the conversation and the camaraderie about such matters. That, by the way, turned out to be a "good-thing" for one of our clients recently....and so I'll continue with the story.
As we toured a small, family farm just placed on the market, a number of fowl- some golden, some black, some with red combs some bald-headed but otherwise feathered creatures noisily greeted us.
"Oh Look," our client cooed, pointing with delight at the bald creature, "What's THAT?" To which our host, the farmer replied with a smile, and a mini-dissertation on guineafowl, the essence of which I've tried to capture below. But first...I'm just curious...would yourecognize one if you saw a guineafowl?... "Which One do You think is the Guinea?"
"Which One's the Guinea?"
An organic farmer's mini-dissertation on guineafowl with a few words and photos added courtesy of Wikipedia.
" Have you ever raised guineas? If you have, you know what good ‘watchdogs' they can be and how they help control ticks and snakes in the yard...." This is a family of insect and seed-eating, ground-nesting birds resembling partridges, but with featherlessheads and spangled grey plumage.
Helmeted Guineafowl from Namibia.
Photos of guineafowl are courtesy of Wikipedia.
The Helmeted Guineafowl (seen in this photo) has been domesticated and introduced to various farms around Asheville and across the USA and Europe.. .Check back soon for more local color and stories about Asheville's sustainable agriculture: Eco-communities, organic farms & farm life and bright blue skies.
We could have used some gunineafowl here!
And remember: "A hair in the head is worth two in the brush" -Oliver Herford, writer and illustrator (1863-1935)
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