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According to the Washington Post, the Commonwealth of Virginia is encouraging its citizens to eat a Canada goose for their Holiday Dinner. Years ago, hunters imported the Canada Geese from the midwest to act as live decoys for wild goose hunting (and I always thought they migrated here to spend the winter).
After the decoy practice was banned, the Canada geese were set free, but they liked the area so much they became permanent year-round residents. They are no longer welcome in Virginia because they muck up golf courses, ‘green’ areas and artificial lakes in the newer developments, and parks and soccer fields in the urban areas. They are unafraid of people and attempts by residents to frighten them away with loud noises like explosives have failed to do much except excite neighbors who are not hard of hearing and bring in SWAT teams of AFT, DEA, and Homeland Defense officers.
Canada Geese are an invasive species and a big pest. Because they are BIG birds they scare foxes, and have no other natural enemy…except the human hunter. Unfortunately, in recent years in Virgina, some residents have eschewed hunting geese and taken up hobbies, such as using their wives, neighbors, coworkers and fellow students for target practice, robbing local banks, or flying planes into buildings.
To remedy the situation, the state is encouraging gun owners to get back to the thing they do best, and shoot geese and other vermin. Virginia’s answer to the invasive species is “kill it and eat it.”
This newsworthy item led me to think about how a ‘green’ but ‘Invasive Species Holiday Dinner’ might look. If you need a list of the appropriate ingredients for your area, one can be had from the USDA, although I do believe, Canada Geese are a problem everywhere. Entertaining with an invasive species meal would kill two stones, rid us of unwanted riffraff, and encourage your guests feel righteous for eating local products.
The center piece of our local Holiday Dinner would be a Canada goose, but we could have venison on the sideboard, if fowl is not your thing. Although deer are local and native, they breed like rabbits (another idea) and thus are plentiful. Hunters are encouraged to take out at least one deer per season.
We could decorate the mantlepiece and table with Euonymus and English Ivy, the latter threatening to smother what remains of our park land. Walking catfish, snake head fish and other “imported as pets” species such as snakes and lizards might make good hors d’ ourves served on a bed of blanched kudzu, nettles and ”mile-a-minute’ leaves.
Pesky Butterfly Bush branches could be used to make a Holiday tree decorated with recycled glass and folded newspaper ornaments. Stockings could be stuffed with boxes of chocolate covered fire ants and killer bees, as well as candied violets.