Cailey Chase and the Angora goats of Vahana Nature Rehabilitation at Idlewild Park in Cranbrook, Thursday, May 22. (Dave Humphrey photo)

Cailey Chase and the Angora goats of Vahana Nature Rehabilitation at Idlewild Park in Cranbrook, Thursday, May 22. (Dave Humphrey photo)

The Weed Warrior: Having goats tackle invasive plants is an excellent strategy

On May 20th, I visited the weed control project at Idlewild Park involving Cailey Chase and her Vahana Nature Rehabilitation goats.

Cailey kindly found time to chat with me while managing her goat herd and interacting with the public.

If anyone of you is interested in learning to mill Cashmere goat hair locally, for knitting projects, Cailey would love to talk to you. Having to send her shearings to P.E.I. for milling is a bit of a stretch for Cailey; anyway, back to weed control.

In the last decade, I have worked a number of summers with weed control contractors dealing with invasive weeds in Cranbrook and Kimberley, including the knapweed and Canada thistle infesting the boggy area on the east end of Idlewild. Since we are not allowed to use herbicide within 15 metres of water, controlling weeds on boggy ground is slow and involves a lot of clipping, hand pulling and bagging . For a crew of three or four, dealing with all the noxious weeds in Cranbrook, and around the city reservoir in a month or so, did not leave us much time to spend in one area.

WATCH: Goats tackle invasive weeds at Idlewild.

Having a couple of dozen goats take on sensitive areas — where herbicide use is not allowed, such as Idlewild, Elizabeth Lake and the reservoir area, is an excellent management decision.

Goats have successfully controlled weeds in other areas for years. Check out this video: Goats Eat Weeds — Farm to Folk Wyoming.

This is Cailey’s website: www.vahana.ca.

As a follow-up to last week’s dandelion article, I picked and washed 25 dandelion flowers May 22, and ate one raw, then stirred the remaining two dozen into a cup of flour with two eggs and some milk for pancakes. Two dozen flowers in three pancakes was definitely not as chewy as five dozen, but seemed a little sparse, so next week I’ll try three dozen dandelions. The raw dandelion flower was slightly stronger tasting than a lettuce leaf, but definitely not bitter yet.

Now, my property is 250 m (700 ft) above the business district of Cranbrook (about the same elevation as Kimberley’s Platzl), so my growing season is later than downtown’s.

I will continue the raw dandelion bitterness experiment weekly and suggest anyone choosing to eat dandelions do the same before feeding them to your family. All you dandelion rookies need to remember to only eat a few at a time, then wait a week before trying some more, for at least 3 weekly trials, to make sure they don’t hurt you.

Weed Warrior Frank

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Kimberley residents were treated to the first Farmers' Market of the season, and the feeling of a return to normalcy. Paul Rodgers photos.
WATCH: Kimberley’s first Farmers’ Market of the season

Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday,… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read