As people seek out alternatives to fossil fuels for every day tasks, one surprising solution is turning up: goats. From homeowners looking to clear unwanted vegetation, to the staff at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, DC looking to do some serious weeding, more and more people are employing goats for the job.
— Samantha Waxman (@waxmansd) August 11, 2015
Earlier this month, the staff at the Congressional Cemetery brought in 30 goats to graze on poison ivy, overgrown vines and other unwanted plants. The goats, which were used at the cemetery two years ago, come from Prosperity Farms in southern Maryland. They “might be here for up to a couple of weeks,” cemetery program director Lauren Maloy told The Washington Post.
The 207-year old cemetery abuts the Anacostia River, so the staff wanted to find a pesticide-free way to keep the vines at bay because they can strangle trees, causing them to topple onto historic tombstones. The goats, which are able to eat plants that would be toxic to other animals, are the perfect solution. The goats are inexpensive and hard-working to boot (they spend up to one-third of their day eating). “They’re really affordable,” Paul Williams, president of the Historic Congressional Cemetery told USA Today. “With a herd of 30 goats, if you break it down per hour, it’s only $1 per goat. And that’s great.”