Recycling Christmas Trees With Goats

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With Christmas now over, people will be taking down their Christmas trees and kicking them to the curb. But, there’s a recycling program in Faribault, Minnesota that will help you dispose of yours in a special way.

The goats on Jake Langeslag’s farm in Faribault, about 50 miles south of Minneapolis, usually survive on a steady diet of hay. But this year, they are getting a special holiday treat courtesy of Mother Nature.

Langeslag is collecting used Christmas trees because he says his goats love to eat the pine needles. Not only does it keeps the trees out of the landfill, it uses the goats’ digestive systems to dispose of the holiday fixtures naturally. 

“Its just been a great win-win. The goats get a great benefit, Vitamin C, and some other nutrients. People like to see things get used and recycled. It makes people feel good,” Langeslag said.

A few years ago, Langeslag started a program called ‘Goat Dispatch’ by renting out his herd to cities, golf courses and homeowners to be “nature’s lawn mower” for invasive plant species that crowd out native plants.

“First year, we started with 10-15 trees. The next year, 150. This year hope to do 300 trees,” Langeslag said. 

But this holiday season, the donated Christmas trees give the goats a meal that’s evergreen.

Langeslag says he hopes to expand this idea to the Minneapolis-metro next year.

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