Click below to listen to my Garden Bite radio show: Goats for grazing
Buckthorn and white sweet clover are two invasives no one with any acreage wants. I recently read an article I found really interesting for those of us who prefer not to use chemicals. Goats have been hired to eat their way through buckthorn and, later, white sweet clover, at the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault.
An entrepreneurial couple started Goat Dispatch and call themselves a landscape cleaning service. They even have their own Facebook page! Goat Dispatch placed 10 goats in a fenced area at the Nature Center for controlled grazing. Talk about eco-friendly and on many levels. No chemicals but plenty of fertilizer. Goats prefer broad leafed plants so they eat those before they take out any grasses. They also like to chew on branches, that means they take out the bark which then kills the plant . Through their grazing habits, goats reduce the production of seeds by consuming seeding stems. Therefore invasive plant species such as Buckthorn can’t sprout as the immature seeds consumed don’t survive passage through the digestive tract.
Now, is this practical for your front yard, well, not likely unless you don’t live in town. However, it’s great to know that there are other methods, more natural methods that are being used.