Goats 2022

Follow our goating adventure as our goat collaborators help us clear out invasive species that is killing the woods. Background information is in the first post on this blog, access it here.

Human helpers join goats in clearing trails

Volunteers from Harborcreek Youth Services and their teacher, Ken Link, took advantage of newly-shorn brush to start clearing out areas where the hired goats had been eating. The 11 students spent a day working along side the creek, including lining trail edges with logs. ...and Danny, one of the goats who made the boys' work easier, escaped! "He's really afraid of people," goatherd Jen Zeitler explained, "so he wouldn't come to me. But eventually he realized he didn't want to be alone—he's a very loyal member of the herd, likes to be with everyone else—so he came back in."


Goats make significant progress

The herd of working goats from Let's Goat Buffalo has only been at Glinodo for a few days, but the team has already made significant progress freeing the trees along Seven-Mile Creek from poison ivy, multiflora rose, and other invasive species....The multiflora rose bushes, stripped of all their invasive foliage, still tower up to 10 feet in the air, but they are much easier to remove now, since most of their thorns are gone and their leaves are no longer in the way. Sisters Anne McCarthy and Kathy McCarthy, who were walking by on their way to watch the sun set over Lake Erie, arrived in time to drag an extracted bush to the campfire pit where it will eventually provide fuel for making s'mores.


Meet Jennifer, goatherd, visionary, and monk-at-heart

The goat renting business is not something Jen consciously sought out. More accurately, it found her and, finding it gave her energy, she followed it. "And I had to have faith and trust in myself to know that if I took the risk and lost it all, I wouldn't have lost all my skills and knowledge and experience and background. We can always find solutions in times of crisis. And the idea that we're all that secure in any given situation is false," she explained. Pieces fell into place and guided Jen like breadcrumbs on a trail as she imagined what was possible.


On what do you ruminate?

Goats are effective at clearing invasive species for several reasons. They love to graze, it's pretty much all they do. As they are nimble on their cloven hooves--the two halves of the hooves work independently of each other, according to Google, which helps them on uneven terrain. They seem to have no trouble getting in and around vines without getting tangled or stumbling over rocks. They can stand up against a tree to clear the vines that have been smothering it as well as weaving through ground vines. And all the while, they are chewing. 


The goats have arrived

Our temporary collaborators, a herd of goats, their goatherd, and their bus-barn arrived and staked out their first work area. As you can see, they wasted no time digging into their task of clearing the woods on the Glinodo grounds of inasive species. Over the next month, we'll introduce you to the goats and their goatherd as well as share more about why we made this choice and why as Benedictines it is important that we not only care for the land but do it in loving ways. Read the original post here. Learn more about Let's Goat Buffalo here.

The goats are coming!

A heard of goats along with their goatherd from nearby Buffalo, NY, will be helping the Benedictine sisters live into one aspect of their Corporate Commitment: As Benedictine Sisters of Erie we commit ourselves to be a healing presence and prophetic witness for peace and justice by actively addressing the climate crisis and the rights of women and children.


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