This, believe it or not, is our 300th blog post, so we thought we’d celebrate with Lotus and Minnie, and their favorite treat.
We have a few different varieties of berries that grow wild on the property, much to the delight of the goats. California native woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), the Pacific Blackberry (Rubus ursinus), and the invasive Himalayan Blackberry (Rubus discolor).
Before the goats arrived, the Himalayan Blackberries would grow so much in a season they could smother almost anything in their path. Their vines are studded with wickedly large thorns, and often the fruits are devoured by our resident deer long before they’re ripe.
Earlier this spring we’d walk the goats along the edges of the farm road, and they’d happily mow down the soft and tender new growth at the tips of the vines. As the season progressed, and the goats got bigger, they eventually started to eat the more mature leaves, and now that it’s late summer, the berries too!
Eventually though, Lotus and Minnie were so efficient at controlling the blackberries, that they were running out of the tasty vines to eat. Until the rains return the vines won’t put on much new growth.
Fortunately, our very sweet neighbors, who are also overrun with these rampant vines, love the girls, and were eager to free up some of their garden space. So they offered to bring Lotus and Minnie almost as many blackberries as they could eat. Needless to say, this made the goats, and our neighbors, BERRY happy!
Although the girls prefer their berries au naturale, personally I prefer my blackberries in a blackberry and apple crisp, sans leaves of course.
Uh oh, sorry girls, but berry season is almost over! Maybe this fall we’ll have to plant some native Salmon Berries (Rubus spectabilis) so you have even more berries to look forward to next year.
In the meantime, as some of you have recently pointed out that we haven’t posted a goatie video in a while…here’s a clip of Lotus and Minnie enjoying their blackberry buffet.
I think Lotus looks rather pleased with herself at the end of this video, don’t you?