Goatscapers get the job done in Lincoln

Goatscapers get the job done in Lincoln

The goats take a break from work to hang out in the Goat Tote, a converted school bus used to transport the landscapers to-and-from jobs around the state. (Breeze photos by Nicole Dotzenrod)

LINCOLN – Driving past a school bus filled with goats is enough to make everyone do a double take, and Wayne Pitman is used to the expressions of surprise.

His bright red and green bus garners a lot of attention, especially when passersby realize his passengers aren’t rowdy students, but a rambunctious crew of four-legged friends.

They’re Pitman’s coworkers, together traversing the state to various job sites, where the nearly two-dozen goats of various breeds and sizes are hired to help clear overgrown land.

Lincoln resident Paula Carmichael hired the Goatscapers to help remove some invasive plants on her Southwick Drive property this week.

Her roughly 2.5-acre property has some steep slopes where she said invasive plants tend to get out of control. Rather than attempting to wade through the poison ivy and thick brambles with power tools, Carmichael called on the Goatscapers for their professional help.

The "Goat Tote" rolled up on Monday with 22 workers eager to start eating. By the next morning, Carmichael said the team had already made significant headway, eating away more than half of the overgrowth.

The Goatscapers, based in Scituate and managed by Pitman and Jackie Magnan, have been clearing brush and invasive plants for the last 11 years.

“If you can’t get machinery in to clear overgrown land, this is much more economical and environmentally friendly,” Pitman said.

Under Pitman’s watch, the team happily explored Carmichael’s property, munching away without a care. The goats can eat plants like poison ivy, and aren’t susceptible to tick-borne diseases.

Pitman said the goats are able to work in difficult terrain, like Carmichael’s sloping property in Lincoln, and places that humans would have a difficult time accessing.

“The goats are even helping to increase the bee population,” he said.

Pitman said the goatscaping season begins in May. For five months, he and his animal colleagues travel the state in his converted school bus to residential homes and commercial properties.

“We do some really cool places,” he said. During the five months of goatscaping, he sleeps in the front of the converted bus, joined by a few members of the herd who refuse to leave their herder’s side.

Pitman doesn’t seem to mind. Every goat in his herd of 72 has a name, a personality and a story. Some were rescued from slaughter, and others born at home at Laurel Hill MicroFarm. If a goat doesn’t want to work, they enjoy a relaxing life of leisure on the farm.

For Pitman, he said the work “feels like a vacation.”

Members of the Scituate-based Goatscapers quickly got to work on Paula Carmichael’s Lincoln property, where they were hired to help remove overgrowth.

Comments

With so much negativity in the news, this is an awesome story that just made my day. Goats!

Long ago I use to landscape and goats would have been very helpful clearing some hills of weeds and brush... I remember catching poison ivy pretty bad weedwacking a hill one time ...A goat would have saved me from a lot of itchy :) I saw a story like this on TV and goats are the best at this ... HAHA :)