When native New Yorker Hillary Rosner moved to Denver, she
traded skyscrapers for waist-high weeds. Although she was drawn to
the charm of country living, the romance soon wore off when hours
of back-breaking work proved futile in the fight against thistle
Enter Jim Guggenhime, owner of goat grazing service Nip It in
the Bud. The Bob Ross of goat herding, the laidback Guggenhime
offers grazing and fertilizing services at a cost of $1 per day per
goat, plus the cost of fencing and transportation. Whereas regular
weeding uproots the entire plant, leaving the soil vulnerable to
erosion, goats eat only the flower heads and leaves of the weeds,
rendering the plants unable to reproduce or to photosynthesize.
Needing only 32 goats for her 2,000 sq. ft lot, Ms. Rosner found
the goats provided an environmentally and economically sound
solution to her gardening woes.
Goat herding is part of a larger environmental movement in which
‘biocontrols’ — such as insects and animals — provide
alternatives to dangerous, ineffective pesticides. Fruit farmers in
Michigan use a mobile chicken coop to combat fruit fly invasions,
while a University of Colorado professor manages knapweed with the
use of several types of beetles.
— Erin Ferdinand
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Getting Her Goat