30 January 2013

Getting our goat

Every year our Lakeview farm in California welcomes some nibbling visitors.

Usually it’s a flock of sheep brought in to spend a few weeks in the fields feeding on the dormant alfalfa and weeds that pop up this time of the year.

This year we were treated to a herd of goats. Farm Supervisor Pete Debus said about a thousand goats are spending three weeks in the fields, keeping the vegetation under control until the growing season starts. (An added benefit, they leave behind some natural fertilizer!)

We use the same process in Brazil, where the sheep are moved around through the acerola trees.

“It’s not a dormant period, because that doesn’t happen there, but they are good at keeping the grass down around the trees,” Debus said.

We’ll have to check back to see which animal does a better job. Sheep or goats?

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