Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Aug 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Goat Alternative

blog goatsGraniterock uses goat grazing as a way to rehabilitate the environment and manage weeds

Graniterock, a Watsonville-based company that produces and distributes construction aggregates and supplies, has turned to a unique approach for habitat enhancement and weed management: goats.

Since September 2012, Graniterock has used goats for grazing at the Santa Cruz Sand Plant, located up Highway 1 across from the entrance of Wilder Ranch State Park. These goats have been grazing on tule grass for pond management, enabling a better breeding and living habitat for the endangered California Red-Legged Frog.

Alex Simmons, environmental specialist at Graniterock, developed the idea for using grazing goats as an alternative to weed management machinery. Simmons was looking at the equipment usage and wanted to find a low-cost alternative that was also nature-friendly.

"As a company, it’s important that we increase our environmental awareness," says Simmons. "We were looking for an opportunity to stray away from using equipment and herbicides and using a more holistic way."

According to Simmons, goats are not particular about what they eat, and can even stomach poison oak. Goats are also smaller than cattle, making them an ideal candidate for grazing jobs.

The goal for the grazing is to rid of non-native grasses in the area. Multiple factors played into the decision to pursue this project, such as the animal’s impact, area to be grazed, and how many animals would be needed. Weather patterns were another crucial point to be considered, as the timing of the grazing project would ideally target certain grasses to be grazed before they can produce and spread their seed.

The goat-grazing project was ultimately deemed the most cost-efficient way to reduce impact and machinery use for land rehabilitation. More than six months after implementing the goats, Graniterock is satisfied with the results.

"There’s been a disturbance through the coast, and we want to replicate those conditions and natural surroundings," says Simmons. "Goats are a good way to do just that. We want the process to be as natural as possible, and we want to be a leading company to do so."

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.