Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Weeder Geese

It just occurred to me.

There was an original reason for acquiring all of those geese.

It’s just that I forgot what it was.

Until this morning.

This morning I was looking out the window, looking at the field in front of the house where the chickens and turkeys and guineas and, yes, geese are currently pastured.

And there were the dozen and one geese (we originally had a dozen geese but sometime over the past year one of our neighbor, no doubt thinking he was doing us a favor, drove up with his goose in a cage and said. ‘Here’s one more to keep yours company.’

And I took it without asking why someone would get rid of their pet goose.

Anyway, this morning I was looking out the window and there were the thirteen geese. All of them busy. Eating.

Eating weeds.

And it dawned on me.

‘I remember, I remember why I bought those geese.
‘I bought them to eat weeds.’

And not just any weeds. I remember, I bought them to eat the weeds that grow in between the rows of asparagus.

Somewhere I had read that the ideal organic way to take care of the weeds in an asparagus bed was to have geese. Geese, the article said, eat the weeds and leave the asparagus untouched.

That was three years ago. I went through the catalogues, and while I had intended to get Chinese geese or Giant African geese, I ended up getting, what the nursery called:

Weeder Geese.

(I assume, being my cynical self, because, because the nursery owner had read the same article and she thought: ‘I bet a lot of people read this article and with the proper name I can sell a lot of geese’).

Unfortunately, the weeder geese hadn’t read the same article as I had and when put in our large asparagus bed they showed no discrimination between weeds and non weeds.

They ate asparagus just as readily as they ate anything else.

So, for the past year, instead of having them penned up in some place where they could do their calling, I had them down with the chickens where they ate a lot of expensive chicken feed.

That, now, explains the geese. But what excuse do I have for all of those turkeys?

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