Dick Hunt's Blog

July 17, 2012

Our Friends, The Goats.

Filed under: Current — Tags: , — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 11:34 am

Our Friends, The Goats.
by Dick Hunt, Tuesday July 17th, 2012.
An Article in the Vancouver Sun caught my eye this morning and brought back a story about Goats from my early days as a Husband and Father. The story in the Sun originated in Kamloops when an enterprising member of the City Staff was confronted by a pest control problem. The pests were Dalmation Toadflax plants, which were choking out all other forms of plant growth in a City Park of several hectares. They produce beautiful flowers but not what makes for a good city park. Karla Hoffman, the employee responsible for Pest Control measures did her research and discovered that goats, in sufficient numbers would eat all the weeds and leave only the grass and flowers and shrubs alone. She arranged to “Hire” 440 goats and have them secluded in the park. They did the work and even increased in numbers with the addition of numerous kids born among the flock. They were even effective in bringing to the park many visitors and tourists, plus enquiries from other cities and towns suffering the same problem.

My memory leaped back to the late 1940’s when we were still ranching with my brother and his wife in Alberta. Wilf and Alyce were then living in the old Ranch house in which I was born. Ruth and I were living in a house across the fence, developing our own piece of the property and settling in. Wilf was a very adaptable and inventive person who did his own research about using goats to keep down the unwanted growth in and aound their house and grounds. So he went to a farm auction and bought a Nanny Goat with two kids at foot. There was no fence between the vegetable and flower gardens and the grass which was the target growth for the goats.
Wilf didn’t speak goat language but hoped that the goats would prefer to eat grass and weeds and spare the other plants. Alas, it didn’t work that way. The goats loved to eat the blossoms from Alyce’s flowers, the juicy vegetables, even the bark off the special trees and shrubs. Nanny supplied good goat milk twice a day, but failed to read her work plan. Eventually she had to find a new home and went to a neighbours farm, with her kids, to be a milk goat.

That left a problem in that the grass still grew. Wilf solved that problem by inventing a rotary lawn mower with parts he found around the Ranch and it worked very well. That was the first such mower I had ever met. I even borrowed it to cut our new lawn.

In the course of time Ruth and I decided we should get our own lawn mower, even though I had coupled my one wheeled garden tractor to a reel type push mower. But on a trip to Calgary, we discovered a sign in a hardware store, which said, ‘DON’T GET A GOAT, GET A LAWN BOY’, (which is the name of our first personal Rotary lawn mower). So we did, and it served us well until we left the Ranch in 1955 to start me on my Calling to study for the Ministry. We left the Lawn Boy with Wilf and it remained there to cut the grass around several residences and outbuildings for years. When we finally moved to our first Parish, we bought another lawn mower. When I started my Ministry one of our couples in the Mission, came home from town one day with their very first new family car, a Ford Sedan with a sloping back. They called the family out to see the new car and found their pet Goat leaving her personal marks on the roof as she danced a jig up there. I think she was sent to market.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Dick Hunt's Blog

Dick Hunt's 92+ years of history

%d bloggers like this: