Goats are not a “baah’d” way to eliminate unwanted weeds.
Jeannette Hall, founder of organic weed control company Baah’d Plant Management of Reclamation, was a speaker at the Red Deer Home Show this weekend to discuss using goats to remove weeds instead of sprays.
“Sprays have a purpose and there’s a time and place to use them, but people waste a lot of it,” said Hall.
When Hall was about 19 she decided to live “in the bush” – away from electricity and running water – for two years.
Hall then worked in the oil and gas industry, where there was grew more concerned about the state of the environment.
“We can’t be completely carbon free, but we don’t need to use things in as much excess as we are,” said Hall.
About two years ago Hall sold everything she had and started her organic weed control company.
“When you sink all your money into a bunch of goats and try to convince people they’re like magical unicorns, it’s a bit scary.
“I wasn’t sure if people were going to take me seriously or not … but you just have to trust what you’re doing is good for the Earth,” said Hall.
Hall said the company was commissioned for a pilot project with the City of Red Deer last year.
The company’s goats were brought to Piper Creek, just south of the landfill, to target invasive weeds. The project was expecting to demolish an acre of Canada thistle in three or four days, but it took just one day.
Hall said there are plenty of good things the city is doing at Piper Creek, including a bee pollinator forest.
“By not having to spray chemical near those gardens, we’re creating a better habitat for those bees. It’s kind of a win-win,” she said.
Hall said the city had tried to use goats for weed removal in the past, but it didn’t seem to work until Baad’d Plant Management was brought in.
“The city doesn’t take spending tax-payers’ money lightly. A successful program has to be effective and has to have support from people and I think we cater both of those,” said Hall.
More information on the company can be found at www.organicweedcontrol.ca.