Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weed Whacking Bramble Mashing Goat

Our across-the-street neighbor has gone completely green. Her next-door neighbor says she often sees the other contemplating, cigarette in one hand, cup o'Joe in the other, as though she's wondering what to do with the dandelions that have taken over her front yard and parking strip.

That grass, it grows so naturally and yes, indeed it looks quite beautiful, especially when the knee high strands move in the wind. Then there's plantain (no not the banana-like) or way-bray, buttercup and ale-hoof.

In elementary school in the Netherlands I learned that the latter could be found right alongside nettles. Ale-hoof can take the sting out of the contact blisters you get from touching nettles. Isn't it wonderful, the way nature provides an antidote right there where you need it? There are no nettles anymore in our neighborhood though. Most likely they've been killed to death with pesticides. Which is a pity because the non stinging nettle blossoms have a great attraction for butterflies…

I feel for my neighbor's dilemma, and yet, I foresee the grass and weeds going to seed, then dry, lie down, die. That will be a pity. The greens however, have grown too long for a mower. What's needed is a scythe. Ha! Last time I saw a scythe in public it was in a picture of the grim reaper. There's got to be another, more friendly solution!

You may think this strange, but the next image that pops into my mind is that of a goat. My mother's goat Tilly was great at eating anything, from the leaves of the apple and pear trees in the orchard, to the contents of my mom's sewing kit. It wasn't that Tilly was just one hell of an obnoxious specimen of her species! I've come across more goats since my childhood and they all have a tendency to eat whatever is put in front of them, even if that something hangs supposedly out of sight or reach, they'll get to it. Ever seen pictures of goats in trees or on top of stools? What about the goats on the ledge of an overpass? Those were not Photoshop®ped images!

A few years back my husband some other folks and I helped a friend clear her property of bramble bushes. All the branches were cut, and thrown into the goat enclosure. Before we knew it, the pile was diminished to sticks and shoots without leaves. Goats can beat a lawnmower anytime, they can navigate uneven terrain, hey, the city of Seattle hired whole herds for exactly that reason!

A goat is the answer to weed and rambling bramble problem!

Would you hire a goat for a day from Healing Hooves LLC?

Previously published by DutchessAbroad as SeattleBlogger29 at Hotels by City Seattle Blog


Goat-ama said...

I got my dairy goats originally for milk, but brush clearing is a very nice secondary advantage - AND it saves on feed!

Judith van Praag said...

Goat-ama, thanks for stopping by. I've visited your blog and love it. Your stories remind me of my parents' "hobby farm" in the 60s. And road side attractions such as free fruit harvesting is right up my alley :-)

Meryl said...

I saw an article about this a few weeks back in The Wall Street Journal. I told my husband and kids and we all got a kick out of it! I live in NYC so I doubt I'll be seeing any neighbors with yard-trimming goats.

Cool blog. Glad I could help and I'd love to see you write the article next time for The Wall Street Journal!

Thanks for visiting my blog too!
Have a Happy New Year!

All the best,

Judith van Praag said...

So good of you to come back to leave a comment after it didn't work the first time!
As I explained in a post at my Hope Filled Jars blog I wrote about the goats three years ago. Yep, next time I ought to try the Wall Street Journal. I'll keep your encouraging note in mind.
I'll be visiting your blog about language, the brain, learning to write and read again. You triggered some memories I enjoy.
Shana Tova to you as well!