Thursday, July 10, 2008

Got Weeds? Get Goats!

Dealing with weeds lately made me remember a curious sight in Seattle.

A herd of goats was busy on a rocky hill devouring all the greenery. A sign on the truck parked nearby read, "Rent-A-Ruminant." Click here to learn more.

Yes, the clever solution to ridding the hill of rampant weeds was to put herbivorous goats to the task. In old cartoons, goats were frequently depicted eating tin cans, an allusion to their indiscriminate appetites. Seattle has special problems with invasive weeds, including English ivy, holly and blackberries. The excellent gardening climate benefits both wanted and unwanted vegetation. Goats to the rescue - for a fee. Rent-A-Ruminant's tab includes portable fencing and a goat wrangler. Another company, Healing Hooves, offers portable fences and a shepherd.

My small patch of weeds wouldn't warrant more than a single goat, but it certainly is a good way to clear a couple of acres or a rocky hillside, with no noise or chemicals. It's just one more reason to love the way people think in the Pacific Northwest.

--Bernice Paglia


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