Sunday, February 10, 2019

Kangaroo Stew

Kangaroos--Australia is, hopping with this marsupial. "Mobs" of urban kangaroos are coming down from the dry hills at night to browse watered lawns and gardens. The Australian government figures there are almost 45 million kangaroos on the continent, which is almost double the population of Australia.

Kangaroo numbers are bounding. The kangaroo is a national symbol of the Land Down Under, but too many strain the ecosystem and can become pests. What are you going to do with so many kangaroos?

The Australian government is encouraging people to eat them. Eat them? The meat's advocates say kangaroo is low in fat and because they produce less methane than other farmed animals, produce less methane, and thus more environmentally friendly.

Eat them? But they are adorable. They are curious and cute. Would you eat kangaroo? Kangaroos fill the same basic ecological niche as Pennsylvania's White-tailed deer. An ecological niche is a term used to describe the relational position of a species in an ecosystem.

I love watching deer, but they can be rats on stilts. Few people haven't hit at least one deer in their lifetime. Deer are hard on the garden. They can cause damage to both the natural environment and agricultural businesses. Pennsylvania holds several hunting seasons to cull the deer population.

Australia is undergoing several projects to solve their kangaroo dilemma, including exporting meat. This meat has been used for curious carnivores both human and canine, and this February 16th, 2019 at From My Shelf Books and Gifts in Wellsboro, you can sample the venison from Down Under at the annual Chilli with a Chance of Chocolate Taste-Off.

The fifth annual Chilli with a Chance of Chocolate Taste-Off is is Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11am to 2pm in downtown Wellsboro. There will be 15 chilis to taste at 15 different sites and an opportunity to win one or more of 15 fun and unique baskets of chocolates, each valued at $25.

Those who want to taste the chili and select the winners can contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office to purchase a taste-off passport in advance for $5. Passport holders can visit as many of the 15 tasting sites as they wish and at each one enter the drawing for that site’s basket of all types of chocolates.

Passports will also be sold on the day of the event at the chamber office beginning at 9am and outdoors in front of Penn Oak Realty, Inc., 65 Main Street from 11am to 2pm. Proceeds from the taste-off will benefit rescued animals and programs offered by Second Chance Animal Sanctuaries. To purchase a taste-off passport, contact the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce office at 570-724-1926 or or stop in at 114 Main Street.