As I get more practice (there's that word, "practice" again!), I'll get better at knowing when to turn back for the beginning of the fence to enclose an area. I'll also get more sections of fence, like the pros have. As it was, I used up one section of fence at about the halfway point, so had to free up a second, smaller piece that was protecting the raised beds. Then, I still had a 6-foot opening to close. So I had to go around and move a bunch of the posts (meaning clear more fenceline) a few times before I got it right. It was frustrating, but this is exactly the stuff I need to learn and practice.
This area is completely overgrown with brambly things, so I mostly used my shoe to push the brambles down. The pros would use a weedwhacker, or Craig Madsen (who owns Healing Hooves and I spent 3 days with in Seattle) used a machete.
Then the goats spent more of the day whining about the newness of it all than eating, even though there's a very yummy smorgasbord waiting for them. Looks like they need the practice too, but to give them credit, they're doing great for 10 or 11 weeks old.
I brought up Craig Madsen and Healing Hooves for a reason. My google alert on the word "goat" turned him up. Him and his goats are in the news in the Wenatchee World newspaper in Washington state.
Craig is a former NRCS person who quit the NRCS to start his goat-eating business about 10 years ago. He's got 250 goats, and a few sheep that he takes all over Washington state. He's one of the 3 companies that I spent time with two summers ago (also Tammy Dunakin of Rent-A-Ruminant and Brandi and Brandon of Terra Vita). The article is about a contract he has with the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and says that Craig also has contracts with Seattle City Light, Pacific Lutheran University and King County. New York or New England versions of the same organizations are potential future clients for me.
Here's the link to the article.
Here's a link to the Healing Hooves website.
Caution: Goats at work
Nature’s weed eaters keep nasty plants under control
Craig Madsen watches as his goats exit the trailer. About 250 goats from Healing Hooves LLC of Edwall spent the weekend eating weeds around the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. “It’s such a natural way to eradicate the problem,” said Corky Broaddus, hatchery spokeswoman. The goats eat diffuse knapweed and dalmatian toadflax, two noxious weeds that will take over the 40-acre area if left uncontrolled.