COAT OF MANY COLORS: Jacob sheep have finer coats than many primitive sheep breeds, making them an ideal choice for farmers looking for a hardy, easy-to-keep fiber animal. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Strub of Hobbyknob Farm

Woolly bully: Local farmers preserve heritage breeds

Heritage livestock breeds have a lot to offer WNC’s small farmers. Fiber animals that evolved on small farmsteads are hardier and easier to manage than breeds developed for high yields and consistent characteristics. WNC farmers are exploring the advantages these heritage breeds offer, protecting them from possible extinction along the way.

CANINE COMPLICATIONS: Our four-legged friends love greenways just like the rest of us. But a recent string of incidents has some questioning whether Hominy Creek has an issue with unleashed dogs. Photo by Max Hunt

Is Hominy Creek Greenway going to the dogs?

Residents using Hominy Creek Greenway in recent weeks may have noticed the sudden disappearance of two herds of goats, which had been put to work clearing invasive species such as Japanese Knotwood. The absence of the hardy herbivores is the result of a June 28 attack on one of the animals by an unrestrained dog and raises questions about the proper use of public spaces.

The Dirt: Getting your goat

Powerful, potentially harmful herbicides like clorpyralid are not only creepy, they’re downright déclassé. An infinitely kinder and hipper form of kudzu control is Marvin, a veteran weed eater from Wells Farm in Horse Shoe. Kudzu? What kudzu? In two weeks, Ron Searcy’s weed-eating goats munched through most of the overgrowth plaguing this Madison County hillside. […]