Goats are the primary foragers and landscapers in many traditional societies and, as such, are essential to the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Domesticated around 7,000 B.C., goats have been nibbling their way through brush (browsing, as it’s called), exploring the Earth’s contours from their native land in central Asia and North Africa to Europe and the America at the mercy of their handlers for longer than any other livestock animal.
When properly managed (given time to forage thoroughly, enough space to explore, are moved regularly, and have lots of green, leafy plants to eat), goats can eradicate invasive species, aerate compacted soils, and bring intentional (and essential) disturbance to overgrown ecosystems.
Our plan is to manage the goats actively by moving them between mobile paddocks as they chew back encroaching poison ivy, buckthorn, and prickly ash. In time, holistic management of the forest allows for the succession of native species of trees, plants, animals, fungi, and insects. The first three of our goats arrived last Wednesday (total will be 7 or 8) and they are quickly adjusting to their new home. More updates to come soon!