You may come across rather an unusual sight when traveling in some areas of Morocco: goats landed on the branches of trees, happily munching on argan fruit. Morocco’s tree-climbing goats and the significant role they once played in one of the country’s major industries.
The Argania tree is not the most aesthetically pleasing plant in the world with a rough, thorny bark and gangly, crooked branches. But these Moroccan trees still tend to attract admirers, thanks in large part to the hordes of goats that can usually be found perching in them.
The fruit’s pulp is what attracts the goats to the argan trees. Goats climb up into argan trees to eat the bitter flesh of the argan fruit. Researchers say these goats spend up to 6 hours a day under, in, and on top of these trees munching away. Although these lovely goats prefer the pulpy flesh, but they eat the entire fruit whole, thick rind, argan seed, and all. The exciting part about this is that goats can’t digest the hard seed; they pass it right through into their poop. And then farmers come along, dig through the poop, pick out the seeds, crack them open, take out the tiny seeds inside, roast those seeds, and produce argan oil.
If you’re on the hunt, look for where argan trees grow in southwest Morocco or Algeria and head out before noon. You’re unlikely to spot goats once the sun really starts beating down. It’s a pretty desert-like area.
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