It's a Fucking Goat! (or three!)

Posted on May 9, 2022
Tags: farm, trees, goats

Tim Lavoie

Trying to snatch victory, and plums, from the jaws of the damn goats.

tl;dr: On days like this, the kid is right: It’s a fucking goat!

OK, well, we did leave a gate open to the fenced-off orchard space, where we usually keep some small fruit trees safe from our goats. We even added an electrified top bit, a.k.a. “The Spicy Wire”, and it does great… if we close the gate.

The “ladies” number three at our place: Mocha, the ringleader and/or matriarch, Hannah, and Willow. Most of the time, they have free reign over the paddock, and occasionally another part of the yard where there are many invasive, tasty blackberry plants.

My dear wife chased them out of the orchard when found, but they didn’t go far. Here are Mocha, with the beard, and Willow, the most food-motivated.

Mocha
Willow

What you see in the latter picture, is that Willow is actually looking to follow me back to the land of Tasty Fruit Trees, from which she has just momentarily been chased. They’re curious, willing to try new things, and relentless when it comes to young, tender tree bark.

What I’m attempting to do here is what is called “bridge grafting”, which I’ve only just learned about. The idea is that the stripped area can be bridged with thin shoots embedded into the bark on each end of the open wound; if they take, they’ll support the transfer of food and water, and it’ll all grow together.

I’ve done two sticks, hoping that’s enough. The bark is quite thin and brittle, and breaks off easily. I made the problem bigger vertically with my fumbling, but the real issue is how much of the circumference is toast. In this case, it’s about half, and could already kill the tree. So what’s to lose? Step one, inserting the shoots

Step two, cover with wax

Step 3: ???

Step 4: Profit! (Or if not dead, at least plums)