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Mountain Meadow Farm

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Spring leaves that interest the goats most are the young poplar leaves. They stand on their hind legs to reach as many fresh poplar leaves as they can pull off the trees growing just outside their boundary fence.

Another spring and summer delicacy for our goats is fresh mint. They love to rub against the mint and to eat it as well, and it gives them lovely breath. They love it so much that we have actually planted more of a plant whose spread we once wanted to curb. I weave sprays of mint into the goat pen fence for the goats to rub against in spring and summer. The adults will eat every leaf off the mint and still rub against the stalks.

An expensive treat for goats any time of year is ginger leaves. They seem to remember that my husband's greenhouse is a source of ginger leaves. Whenever they find their way into the greenhouse, they mainly knock over potted plants, but always strip the ginger plants of all their leaves. We hope the ginger recovers from the last goat foraging and hope the new pen arrangement will make the greenhouse a little more goat-proof.

Fall Garden Clean-up--In late fall we turn our goats into the garden to forage. We discovered they love turnips. We had left several of the larger turnips in the field, and the goats loved them. First they ate the greens down, then they nibbled the tops of the turnip roots as close to the ground as possible. Next, we dug the turnips up and allowed the goats to finish them off.

They also love to eat fall leaves from our pear tree. I take wheel barrow loads of dry, freshly raked pear leaves to their pens in the fall. In addition, we take leaf rakings from neighborhood yards to the goat pens; they especially love poplar leaves.

Winter is a time when we prune native cedar trees around our property and decorate for the Christmas holidays. The goats love the cedar prunings. They eat the greenery then strip the bark off the limbs. We do politely reject offers of Christmas tree donations to our goats after the holidays since most Christmas trees have been sprayed with chemical pesticides

Happy Goats