My Greek kitty crew

Friday, February 27, 2009

A charming holistic principle


Happy goat!
 Knapweed

Yesterday I came across a brilliant article about 'holistic resource management principles'. Some years back a woman out of work but with a masters degree in weed science bought herself a herd of a hundred goats for the purpose of them to eat weeds! - and thereby starting herself a business.

To a cattle producer there will be no production on land that is covered with noxious weeds. Therefore, which is a well known fact, they use (expensive) pesticides to kill the weeds. What is also a well known fact is, that when a farmer uses pesticides, it creates a condition where weeds can mutate and become deformed which just increases the problem. Goats though prefer weeds and in the case of noxious weeds (like knapweeds), they have an enzyme in the saliva that detoxifies the toxin before they swallow. Also, because weeds can be symptomatic of poor soil with no organic matter to support good growth, the goats help in the way that everything they eat is then recycled as fertilizer and laid back down on the grasses because as the goat graze, they trample in the fertilizer!

So... this woman started a business offering the farmers her services with the goat herd. She now employs 12 people, calling it a service with a three-fold benefit: environmental, economical and social. It makes the goats happy, it makes the fields happy, it makes the woman and her workers happy and it makes the farmers happy!!


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