Local invaders getting the goat of nearby towns

March 4, 2013 by  

Gastonia residents making the trip over to Mount Holly this spring may be surprised to see a herd of goats grazing on city property.

The Mount Holly City Council has given the OK to a plan to rent goats from Wells Farm, south of Asheville in Horse Shoe, to solve the local kudzu invasion.

Kudzu, an invasive species of plant that was introduced to this country during the late 1800s, originally came from Asia and is considered a nuisance in 20 states in the U.S. Wells Farms has offered its goats for weed control since 2007, and Belmont used its services last year at their proposed River Park project on East Catawba Street.

Renting goats is not a cheap fix, but it is more economically sound than using poison. Wells Farm asked for $4,640 to provide enough goats to graze five acres of kudzu in the spring with a return grazing for $2,355 in the fall. The cost for the goats includes transportation, the goats’ “labor”, fencing, and liability insurance. The insurance is required in case the goats should escape the fenced-in area and go munching where they shouldn’t, or get into some other caprine mischief. The only goat-related activity the city workers will be engaged in is to ensure the goats have adequate water.

Local plant sellers and garden supply stores, if they are wise will take this opportunity to contact their brochure printers about adding information concerning invasive species to their handouts.