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Rosenwald, Md.
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Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 05/14/2012

How to hire a goat

Step 1: Determine need for goats. The key question to ask yourself is, “Do I have a vegetation problem on my property?” Hint: If you have weeds-gone-crazy, a cornucopia of poison ivy or runaway honeysuckle — among many other forms of vexing vegetation — you are probably gonna need a goat.

Step 2: Find a farm with an inventory of goats to rent. WTOP reports that Prosperity Acres Farm in Sunderland is one such operation. “As an alternative to using herbicides, property owners in Southern Maryland can hire the goats to chow down on unwanted vegetation,” the station says. The goats can work just about anywhere, including golf courses, as we reported last year.


Goats clean up vegetation at Mellomar Golf Park in Owings. (Darwin Weigel/The Calvert Recorder)

Step 3: Invite farm owner Mary Bowen for a visit. “No two jobs are the same, therefore a full evaluation of your project is necessary by our team,” her Web site says. “We will determine how many goats are necessary for the job and how long they will be on your property. Goats love eating unwanted vegetation — that is their natural food, and we enjoy being able to provide that to them!”

Step 4: Watch the goats party. “As long as they’ve got the weeds to eat, the goats are very content,” Bowen told WTOP. “It’s as if they’re at an all-you-can-eat buffet.” To keep the goats on task, the farm provides fences. “All you have to provide is the unwanted vegetation — we do the rest,” the farmers say.

Step 5: Salute the goats’ professional work. You can see pictures of their successes here or watch a video of them working here.

Step 6: Enjoy your clean property and its contributions to science. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore just began studying how goats and sheep can tidy up property, according to the station.

Step 7: Watch your step! Prosperity provides the following bonus with its goat vegetation tidy-up services: “Best of all, the goats leave an all-natural fertilizer free of charge behind for you.”

By  |  12:42 PM ET, 05/14/2012

 
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