Posts Tagged With: goats

Project POWER at Our Community Farm

dsc08840A cold morning brightened up on November 18th just in time to indulge a large group of AmeriCorps members on a tour of our Community Farm. Chris Link, SAHC’s Community Farm Manager, and Travis Bordley, our Roan Volunteer Outreach Associate, hosted 26 AmeriCorps members from Project POWER, which stands for “Putting Opportunity Within Everyone’s Reach.”

 

Project POWER is a local division of the national AmeriCorps program. Members of Project POWER work exclusively in Buncombe Country and with at-risk youth in schools, non-profits and faith biased organizations. SAHC and Project POWER have been fostering a relationship to connect people with the environment and outdoor experiences on conservation properties.

 

dsc08817“The current group of AmeriCorps members with Project Power is a really special team,” said Travis. “They all are incredibly positive individuals with a passion for what they do. We think our resources at the farm can help to serve them and bolster our relationship with youth in the community.”

 

Chris capitalized on the warm weather and eager spirit of the AmeriCorps members. He led everyone on an in-depth tour of the Community Farm, guiding the group to check out goats doing invasive kudzu management, productive greenhouses growing fresh veggies, and a successful stream-bank restoration project. The tour wrapped up in our new Education Center, where the group had ample space to host their bi-weekly meeting.

 

dsc08832Seventeen of the 26 visitors signed up with Travis after the tour in hopes to return to the farm with their children, and four members were also interested in doing environmental education programming on other SAHC properties. The beautiful weather really seemed to compliment a great relationship that is growing between SAHC and Project POWER!
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Categories: Our Community Farm | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Herding the Baa-tany Goats

Roan goat

I started my morning at 6:15 am, rushing to get my SAHC camera charged, coffee made, and my hiking boots on. Although I could barely keep my eyes open I was excited to head up to the Highlands of Roan to help herd the goats of the Baa-tany Goat Project off of their summer home there.

The project, started by Jamey Donaldson, is intended to restore  grassy bald corridors on Roan’s western slopes by employing goat grazing. The balds are home to many rare and endemic species, including Gray’s Lily and others near the southern tips of these ranges. However, the balds are dying due to changes in soils, climate change, and lack of large herbivores (plant eaters) that historically grazed there. These factors makes them more hospitable for woody plant invasion, like the Canandian blackberry. Luckily, this is one of the goat’s favorite foods and they are working hard every summer to maintain the balds.

When I arrived at the Carver’s Gap parking lot I introduced myself to Todd Eastin, the goats’ owner, and he explained a little bit about his goats and what we were going to be doing as goat herders. People trickled in as he was discussing our plan of action and by the time we got ready to head up to the goat paddocks there were around 35 volunteers ready to help herd them onto Todd’s trailer.

Goat herding dogs

After we arrived at the goat paddocks near Jane bald, Todd and Jamey instructed us on where to go and then let the goats out of the fence. They were led by their two Great Pyrenees watchdogs and spurred on by Jamey saying, “Come on pretty ladies,” and enticing them with corn.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy got our start in the Highlands of Roan and the Roan area is still one of our important focus areas. The unique habitat that the balds provide must be preserved and the Baa-tany goat project is vital in doing that. As many of you know, these places possess a unique spirit that seems to feed the soul. To learn more about the Baa-tany Goat Project and ways that you can help click on the Baa-tany Goat Brochure link below.

Baa-tany Goat Project Brochure

Categories: Volunteer & Stewardship Activities | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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