Poultry Promises

Put this chicken to work for you. Justin Rhodes says how.

Henderson County environmental nonprofit Mountain True has spring sowed deep in the theme of its latest presentation of Green Drinks, a casual monthly get-together where like-minded people can discuss topical ecological issues.

March’s featured speaker is Justin Rhodes — author, filmmaker, homesteader, and farmer of 75 acres. The founder of Abundant Permaculture, Rhodes is a sustainability entrepreneur who studied under various gurus of the genre, holds a Permaculture Design Certificate, and is an expert in raising poultry the natural way.

For the unconverted, permaculture is a sophisticated, many-layered concept of socially responsible agriculture that emulates the indigenous designs of natural ecosystems to propagate crops, preserve the land, and encourage successful cycles of growth — for animals and vegetables in the short term, and, ultimately, for the long-haul legacy of family-farm prosperity.

As deeply invested as he is in the lifestyle, Rhodes hasn’t lost his sense of humor, and is known as an engaging presenter. His talk this week is titled: “Let the Chickens Do the Work.”

Seriously, he says: “Stop working so much, and get some chickens.” They lay fresh delicious eggs, sure — but their inborn capabilities also extend way beyond the nest. Rhodes says he’ll teach folks how chickens can “till, fertilize, make compost, spread mulch, weed, and debug the garden.”

No one could accuse this activist of short-term vision. Post-harvest, he insists, “they’ll even make the pumpkin pie.”

Green Drinks: “Stop Working So Hard – Let Chickens Do It” with Justin Rhodes, March 10, 5:30pm, at Black Bear Coffee (318 N. Main St. Hendersonville). Call 828-258-8737, ext. 205, or e-mail joan@mountaintrue.org. Also for more info: abundantpermaculture.com.

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