Greenwalks

Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Novel Way to Clear Brush December 29, 2008

Filed under: digressions,fauna,weeds — greenwalks @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

A musician friend just bought a rather neglected property on a small lake in Seattle. She’s a really energetic person and will no doubt have a great time diving into the project of renovating the house and grounds. In fact, she’s already started on the overgrown yard, with a little help from some friends…

goatsii1

Goats! She got them (temporarily) from a local business, The Goat Lady, who hires them out for a quiet, natural way to clear brambles and other tenacious overgrowth. With the copious amounts of blackberries at my friend’s place, five goats couldn’t get through it all in one day. They took a break for the holidays/snow but will be back to finish the job soon.

This is such a cool way to take care of a tough gardening job! You arrange to have the goats delivered, check on them a couple of times per day to make sure they’re not tangled up in their tethers, give them once a day water and feed, and that’s that! Super cheap too, $25 per goat per week if you have 5 or more, $30 per goat if you have 4 or fewer. Dump fees alone for that volume of brush would probably top that, not to mention labor, pollution from gas-powered tools, or even backhoe rental for a job of that magnitude. To learn more about the goats, click here.

Apparently this is not the only business of this sort in Washington State. Here’s a link to a Seattle city page about using another company’s goats to clear brush at a power plant not far from our house.
In the city of Seattle, it is now legal to keep up to three pygmy goats, as long as they are de-horned. Goats in the city! For a news article about this, click here.

Finally, if you have a few minutes to spare and click on this link, you can watch the goats in action at my friend’s place. She put some funny background music in to complement their munchings. Which goat is your favorite? I like the black and white one with the stripey face myself.

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10 Responses to “Novel Way to Clear Brush”

  1. Racquel Says:

    That is truly an eco-conscious way of clearing brush! šŸ˜‰

  2. Amy Says:

    What a great way to clear brush! Hopefully they add a little fertilizer too while they’re at it!

  3. This is such a great idea. I don’t have a bramble problem, but I would definitely go for this, if they ate dandelions. When I was little, I sometimes put my guinea pigs on the lawn and they liked to eat the dandelions for a treat. It would take an extra large herd of guinea pigs to clean out my lawn.

  4. Aerie-el Says:

    That is great! Eco-friendly, leaves behind only biodegradable products, small carbon footprint, and uber-cute while working. What’s not to love?
    Thanks for the links too!
    ~Aerie-el

  5. Megan Says:

    People always joke about this, or I thought it was a joke, I didn’t realize it was a real thing. What a great idea. Even without the weeds, I’d like to have a goat for a week.

  6. Curmudgeon Says:

    Are they cute! I really like the brown one over by the tree! I had heard they do this around Green Lake but have never seen it in action. I work in the building where Seattle Tilth is located. I often see the flyers up for their classes about city chickens and now city goats.

  7. Paula Says:

    Thanks for sharing! We have talked about this before as we used to live next door to a goat and know what a nice trimming job he did. Snows over for now, but watch out for the wind!

  8. I’ve run across goats as brush cleaners in Europe. I had never considered them before that. Thanks for publishing the rental prices though – its good to know the value of the service. Not that I can use them here in my urban plot, but good for small talk at garden functions!

  9. We have goats for exactly that reason…it is amazing how much they like blackberries! The perfect enviromentally resposible way to deal with Frankinberries (as I so foundly call them, lol!) It is also a novel idea for a business…wonder if I could rent out my camel?????????

  10. Paula Says:

    Have you seen the Pemco commercial for the NW Goat Renter Guy (you’re one of us)? Maybe the Pemco ad people been reading your blog too!


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