Ever Seen a Goat Tree?
such pure insanity that I thought was a total hoax the first time I
but those really are goats and they really are in trees.
The tree the goats are in is an evergreen
It is found mostly only in
Morocco. The tree reaches heights of 25-30 feet, and has a
knobby, twisted trunk that allows for goat climbers. The goats climb
the tree because they like to eat the fruit of the tree, which is
similar to an olive.
Farmers actually follow the herds of goats as they move from tree
to tree. Not because it is so strange to see goats in trees and the
farmers like to point and stare, but because the fruit of the tree
has a nut inside, which the goats can't digest, so they spit it up
or excrete it which the farmers collect. The nut contains 1-3
kernels, which can be ground to make
used in cooking and cosmetics. This oil has been collected by the
people of the region for hundreds of years, but like many wild and
useful things these days, the argan tree is slowly disappearing due
to over-harvesting for the tree's wood and overgrazing by goats.
As a result a group of people and organizations have banded
together to try to save the tree. To do so one of the primary
locations where the trees grow
been declared a biosphere preserve. It was also decided that by
making the world aware of the oil, it's great taste and supposed
anti-aging properties, would create a demand for it. However, the
people who planned to market the oil could not envision people
wanting to put an oil on their food or their face that was collected
from goat excrement.
As a result, a campaign is being led to ban
grazing on the trees by goats during certain parts of the year to
allow the fruit to ripen and fall off on its own. The fruit is then
collected and turned into oil by oil cooperatives. So far, this
arrangement seems to be working.
and you wondered how they ate the leaves at the top
of the tree....
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