Christmas trees to be recycled by goats in Amherst

goatsxxxThis is one of the coolest ideas I’ve heard of in a while.  Our friend Hope Crolius, owner of the local business, The Goat Girls, deserves our gratitude for this wonderful public and ecological service!

Michelle A. Chandler has been doing this for the past couple of years, too – South Amherst folks can drop their trees at Blessed Acre Farm, 326 West Pomeroy Lane!

Here is what it looks like when the goats are done:


Go Amherst Goats!



Thursday, December 27, 2012
(Published in print: Friday, December 28, 2012)

AMHERST — Seven goats that are part of a brush-clearing team during the warm-weather months will be consuming Christmas trees in the coming weeks.

Hope Crolius, who owns Goat Girls Brush Clearing, said she is inviting people to dispose of their Christmas trees by bringing them to Simple Gifts Farm, 1159 North Pleasant St., where she keeps her goats.

Crolius said the goats enjoy pine, balsam fir, hemlock, spruce and other evergreens, which contain vitamin C and other nutrients that help them get through the winter, while the needles on these trees can act as dewormers,

“They really do eat them,” Crolius said. “Over a few days they will gnaw it down to bare wood.”

But Crolius said she also sees this disposing of trees as a means of helping the town recycle and keep trees out of the landfill. Waste haulers in Amherst will be picking up Christmas trees curbside Jan. 11, and residents can also bring pine Christmas trees to the transfer station at no charge.

Crolius said she is formalizing a program she has run for a couple of years, including driving through neighborhoods and picking up trees that have been left at the curbside.

Already, her goats have been feasting on some branches cut from the trees sold by the Boy Scouts at Kendrick Park and some leftover trees not sold at Cowls Building Supply.

She isn’t sure how long the Christmas trees will be edible, as the trees will eventually dry out. But Crolius would like to see the goats be able to consume the trees at least through January.

To drop off a Christmas tree, call Crolius at 461-6832 or send an email to Limited pickups will also be made into January and can be arranged by calling or emailing Crolius.

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