Two weeks ago, I wrote about my experiment with our geese, putting them out on an extremely weedy row with some sad looking mint, lavender, sage, and two rows young peach trees. I decided to take the risk and run the geese through, hoping they would eat up all of the weeds, eat back the herbs a bit and open up the area around the trees.
This morning on our farm walk, Cameron and I went to check on the progress of the Big Geese Experiment. I am very happy to report almost all of the weeds are completely gone, eaten down to bare ground. The herbs have been “goose pruned”, and fertilized in the process. Some of the lavender was chomped to almost nothing, so we will have to wait until next spring to find out how it handles that.
In the meantime, I am really excited to see how well they are cleaning this row for us. Every time we can use animals to do this type of work, it’s a time we don’t have to use man power, which is in short supply. It also means we are not running machines, burning fossil fuel, and polluting the air. Granted we do have a feed delivery every few weeks, but one trip from a big truck compared to months of weed-whackjng is a trade off that I am pretty happy with. I don’t even know how to quantify the benefit to soil.
Just to show you the contrast of before and after, I took a shot of the area the geese were on a week ago, and then a photo from the opposite end of the row, quite a difference.