After two days of tri-folding letters and stuffing envelopes, answering Emails, writing letters and writing and editing about a million words for twenty different articles, I was all ready to call it a night.

I had eaten my little bowl of buttered noodles and poured a big glass of red wine. I was headed for the couch. I wasn’t going to write another word tonight.

One last check of my Email…one unopened letter. The title: Goats. I knew what this was about.

“Don’t open it!” my tired self advised…but I opened it anyway.

So, here I am, in the middle of the night, at the desk.

I know.

Goats are an outstanding biological weapon against invasive plants.

No chemicals needed.

They eat Oriental Bittersweet. They eat Poison Ivy. They eat Phragmites. They eat Kudzu, for heaven’s sake!

We can’t use goats here.

Though they are a valuable, non-chemical helper in areas where invasive plants have totally taken over, the fact is, GOATS EAT EVERYTHING!

Goats will eat a sheet from the clothesline…or the clothesline itself. Goats will eat a tin can. Goats will eat Phragmites…and every single tender plant that grows near it, too. They would eat our Spring Beauties and our Dutchman’s Britches (both protected species). They would eat our Princess Pine (endangered). They would eat our precious Michigan Monkey Flower, of which Beaver Island hosts 20% of what is growing wild on the entire planet!

I wish we could do this without chemicals. We all do. Everyone wishes there were a better way. Though many people much smarter than I am are working on it, at this time we are applying the most proven, safest method of keeping our fragile eco-system intact.

Thank you for the information, but as for Beaver Island…NO GOATS.

  1. Funny, I only just recently learned about using goats as organic weed control. My teenage daughter has a friend whose high school hires a service that brings goats in weekly to “mow” the field!

    • It’s a great idea, in areas where it will work. They aren’t very selective, but they are certainly good grazers! Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

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