Every year in January and February we walk the goats over our terraced orchard. Yes! Right though our orchard. Clearing land with goats and having fruittrees at the same time is very possible.
We have about 80 fruittrees on our terraced land. In summer the trees are irrigated and nothing much grows under the trees. But in during the winter month weeds start to grow and by January – February there is a lush layer of weeds growing. Clearing our land with goats saves us quite a bit of work. The secret is that most fruit trees do not have leaves at this time of the year. That is why the goats are not interested in the trees at all; however, they do love the weeds amongst and under the trees. You still need to watch them because you never know with goats. They can suddenly do crazy things.
Clearing the terraces is important because it helps the fruit trees to grow. It also reduces the risk of wildfires on our land. In this way the goats help us, and we help the goats have a great healthy meal. There is a wide variation of herbs growing under the trees, by eating these the goats will be able to balance their diet. See more about this topic in our blog ‘What do goats eat’.
When the goats are back in their pasture we also give them the greens from our own clearing activities. They will eat the leaves from the branches, which makes it easier for us to put it in the mulching machine.