Saturday, March 22, 2008

Blackberries in Retreat

As I sit here nursing some nasty wounds inflicted by blackberries (many through multiple layers of thick clothing), I'm reminded of the impressive defenses this invasive weed has. It's no wonder it has become so prevalent here in the Pacific Northwest.

So when I watch a goat climb into the middle of a blackberry hedge, thorns attacking from all sides, I am awed by these nimble, resilient creatures. They nibble the leaves off with ease, and even eat some of the smaller stalks.

Blackberry is clearly their most preferred browse choice available in our yard, although the goats also prefer cedar (I am SO glad I don't have to do twig counts to measure this).
The bare stalks take some work on our part to remove, and we've gotten a good start on that over the last two days (hence the aforementioned wounds). Mostly we've been clearing lanes into the thickets to give the goats access to more leaves.
In another day or two there won't be any blackberry left...

No comments: