Montpelier, the capital of Vermont, has been feeling more like the poison ivy capital lately. A huge crop of the stuff has been growing along a bike path that runs behind Montpelier High School. It was becoming so overgrown that it hung over the path and would hit bicyclists and joggers in the head. Organic herbicides weren't working and so the city has gone old-school and brought in goats to clear the troublesome plants.

The Goats Grazing on Poison Ivy
The Goats Grazing on Poison Ivy

Image via New York Post

To some people this would seem to be a strange solution -- after all isn't poison right in the name of the plant? Well, just because the plant is poisonous to humans that doesn't make it problematic to other species. In fact goats are immune to the poisonous effects. To them it is just one more tasty treat that they can munch on.

Goat Grazing on Poison Ivy
Goat Grazing on Poison Ivy

Image via WCAX

Enter goat-herder Mary Beth Herbert and her three 6 month old female Kiko goats to tackle the tricky job. Her is where to story takes a fun little twist. These goats were named Ruth, Bader, and Ginsburg after the renowned Supreme Court Justice. There is no word of why or how Herbert came to these names for her kids.

Goat Grazing on Poison Ivy
Goat Grazing on Poison Ivy

Image via New York Post

This year has been especially bad for the poison ivy growth and Herbert was hired to bring her goats into the city in her Subaru for a two week stint of munching. The goats will return again in the fall for another round at the buffet. Herbert believes that the entire job will likely take several years of grazing cycles to completely eradicate the noxious plant but the city is determined not resort to noxious chemicals instead.

As a side note, there is a type of goat cheese named Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is enrobed in a rind of black ash. It is actually made of a unique blend of goat's milk and cow's milk with a spicy touch of black peppercorns. It is an "homage de fromage" to the Justice who had inspired the cheese maker in her life.

You just can't bleat it. Goats are "lawesome."

Sources: New York Post, WCAX, Dancing Goats Dairy

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