Fifteen kiko goats arrived at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed this week as part of an eco-friendly way to remove invasive plants from the future Nature Play Zone area.
Kiko goats, a hardy breed of goats from New Zealand, will remain on the Watershed property chomping down poison ivy, multiflora roses and other invasive species this spring. This approach is preferable to use of pesticides or herbicides. This is the second visit for this herd of goats who visited for a month in the fall on loan from Double Brook Farm of Hopewell Township.
“They eat the leaves off the plant, so the stalky part of the multi-flora rose they do not like. Obviously a plant can’t live without photosynthesis, without the leaves. As they eat the leaves and the leaves come back, and they eat the leaves again, it will kill the plant.” says Jon McConaughy, co-owner of Double Brook Farm and Brick Farm Market and Tavern.
“It’s always best to look for the most beneficial solution for both the environment and for human health. Because this area’s going to be used for children, it’s especially important to look for the most benign way of treating the unwanted vegetation,” said Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey President Stephanie Harris.
The future Nature Play Zone is an outdoor discovery area for children ages 1-10 to foster fun, lifelong connections with nature, and hands-on learning. For more information, check out the NJTV video report from this past fall about the goats.