Sunday, 20 December 2009

Hier kom die bokke

MILLS RIVER, North Carolina -- The brambles and underbrush are so thick it's hard to see anything, much less walk around.

Munching through the thicket are four sturdy goats, doing their part to uncover the grave sites of up to 30 early residents of Henderson County.

The Ballard Family Cemetery in North Mills River is the subject of a new experiment: using goats to clear vegetation from historic cemeteries.

"It's hard to tell what's here until we clean it out," says Toby Linville, the county staff member for the Henderson County Cemetery Advisory Committee. "It was so bad, you couldn't move in here."

Credit for the idea goes to Jennie Jones Giles, who heard someone joke that "goats would eat everything here" and borrowed six of the animals to eat through the overgrown thicket.

Giles, director of the Henderson County Heritage Museum, is also a member of the Cemetery Advisory Committee, established by the County Board of Commissioners in 2005. The committee is responsible for identifying and coordinating the county's upkeep of abandoned cemeteries.

Read more at (click here)

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