Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Super Short Saturday Question

Eat them weeds!Landscaping goats. Are you for them or against them?

"The University of Washington is using a herd of goats from Rent-A-Ruminant to clear some brush and Ivy along Rainier Vista on campus. The goats are kept in the designated clearing area by an electrified temporary fence."

From the Seattle Times.

20 comments:

chile said...

We first encountered that concept when we spent a year in Oregon. On a back road in the middle of nowhere, we stopped at a fruit stand in front of a house. The woman had pygmy goats in a small side yard and they were happily munching away on blackberry brambles. She said she loaned them out to friends to help clear brush. It seemed pretty smart to me!

Liz said...

No way! I say that it is totally unfair to the animals to have their sole use be to trip hedges. They deserve to have a chance to live a happier life than that, where people could love them, and take good care of them. I support the idea of not using fossil fuels to trim hedges, but I'd rather they paid people fair wages to go out with a clipper and use some man power.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding?! I would love to rent some goats for a week.....I have some areas that need clearing and I would much rather have some cute little goats out there munching and fertilizing away - plus my kids would really like it too. We had goats for this purpose when I was a kid - toggenbergs, large and stubborn - as a full time pet, they can be a lot of work.

Rebecca said...

I have one of my own ... but since it is still a baby and with just a lamb to help, it hasn't started to make a dent in the job. But the family loves them!

Theresa said...

I think it's a pretty good idea. Our town has a flock of sheep and a shepherdess who keep the town's greenspaces trimmed, and fertilized.

Cynthia said...

Unfair?? what is unfair??? Goats love to eat. They are being fed. They are having a GREAT time! What is unfair about making them happy? It is part of a cycle of needs. They need to be fed. The noxious weeds need to be cleared. Do you think that we are being unfair to bees who pollinate flowers???? come on. The flowers need pollinating, the bees need to pollinate. Goats don't jump up and cuddle on your lap. They check you out, see if you have food, if you don't, they quickly lose interest in you. BEAUTIFUL IDEA!!

emily said...

I think that sounds awesome. When I was little, my parents joked about getting a goat so they wouldn't have to mow the lawn, but they never did. And just think--you could have homemade goat cheese...

Ed Bruske said...

not a new concept, definitely thumbs up

just ducky said...

I gotta tell you...I'm not into goat poop. Where there are goats, you will have goat poop. I'd rather have someone push a reel mower to cut the grass.

Greenpa said...

Goats beat the heck out of using herbicide; for sure- and for those who think it would be better to hire humans to do the work- you've never done it, have you? Clearing brush/weeds is utterly miserable work, I wouldn't wish it on anyone; certainly not miles and miles of it. That said- goats uncontrolled are pretty awful- they eat EVERYTHING, including stuff you'd much rather they didn't. We need more people taking up "herder" as their life-work!

Jenna said...

Let's see... the goats get fed, get a rather better class of life then those ties to their boxes, the fire feeding underbrush gets cleared away with NO chemicals, NO noxious fumes, AND the ground gets a nice dose of fertilizer meaning once the area is cleared of brush more usefull items could be planted? Ummm, is this a trick question? Of course I'm for it. As for people who think its unfair for the poor little goaties? Honey, I'm sorry that does NOT sound like anyone who actually has any real hands on life experience with animals. Animals SHOULD be cared for, but what the idea that they should be kept simply to be pampered... at the very least accept everything has to work for a living. Man AND animal.

Another perk? While the thought that goats will eat ANYTHING isn't true they will concentrate on the low growing brush and leave sturdier trees alone. Clear out the stuff that burns fast, keep what will one day be old growth forests... seems like a great idea all around. There are a few farmers I know here in Ohio that have started double duty teams. They rent the goats out to trim in the orchards (and stuff themselves silly on fallen fruit) and bee hives to pollinate at the same time to keep everything fresh. Full service maintainence without a pesticide in sight!

nichole said...

Wow! I'm so proud of being a UW alumna right now! This is something we talked about in my courses (environmental horticulture and urban forestry) but my tiny dept had no pull in grounds decisions. I'm glad they're trying something new (for them). Hopefully they have plans to permanently eradicate that ivy.

Anonymous said...

Wow - I wish the organic orchard that we pick at would use goats to clear up the windfalls - they wait for the deer and decomposition to take its course....
Both my kids are super allergic to bee stings and It would be nice to go and not be panicy while picking apples.....all those weeds and fermenting apples gobbled up....thats a neat idea

Kim said...

Goats love that type of work. Mine do a great job keeping the underbrush down and saplings spaced. They love poison ivy too.

Kim

Rechelle said...

Oh now this is an easy one - I am against them. I am way way way way against them. I am for kittens and puppies, but in general as I have jouneyed thru life - I have become more and more against goats.

Oldnovice said...

Goats love to be work animals, just like most productive people.

Activist Mommy said...

I've honestly never heard of this. It seems like a good idea, much better than using gas powered tools to trim the hedges.

Rechelle said...

I think I am going to start a new blog dedicated solely to being against goats. I will call it Goats baaaaad very baaaaad. ha ha ha ha hardee hardee hardee ho ho ho.

Anonymous said...

I walk by these goats on my way from the bus stop to work. I must say, I was surprised to see them the first day they were there, but I thought it was wonderful! There were lots of people stopping by to take a peek, say hi to a goat, watch what they were doing, pet them (if they got close enough), etc.

Not only are they doing a great job, but they are also getting people talking about them! I think this is the best part of the whole thing. It is causing people on campus to say "why would they use goats?" and to stop and think for a minute about greener alternatives to the way things are usually done.

And, by the way, this is one of a number of things the UW is doing to reduce their impact on the world (including an upcoming switch to corn-based, biodegradable to-go cutlery in the cafeteria) and I am all for it!

april said...

Do goats eat large trees? If they do then I want a few goats to sick on the damn trees that have fallen in my yard.

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