Local farm recycles Christmas trees with the help of goats


Now that Christmas has passed, it's time to take down the tree and make those new year resolutions.

But you might want to think twice before you put your tree on the curb for pickup.

Dozens of Christmas trees are piled high at Trinity Farms Center for Healing to be recycled, but not in the usual way. For some four-legged friends on the farm, the best Christmas gift isn't found under the tree. It's the tree itself.

"We decided to put a call out, and ask people to bring us their Christmas trees and recycle them and here they are. People donating their Christmas trees is like a bonus for them," said Paula Eppley-Neuman, board president of Trinity Farms Center for Healing.

Their goats love to eat Christmas trees! For three years now, people and tree nurseries have been donating their trees to the goats after Christmas. This past week alone, 64 trees have been donated to the farm.

"They love it, it's like candy. Kids going for candy whenever the goats get a tree in their pen," said Eppley-Neuman.

And the trees aren't just a fun treat for the goats, it's also helping out the environment. The tree gets recycled multiple times at the farm.

"The goats will eat the pine needles and get a benefit from it. And then we'll take the skeletons of the trees and stack them in the woods and it becomes a habitat for other animals," said Eppley-Neuman.

The trees also act as a natural dewormer for the goats. But they're not the only unusual snack the goats enjoy. Eppley-Neuman said the goats also enjoy eating poison ivy.

And despite popular belief goats don't really eat everything.

"They eat everything besides tin cans -- that's not true. They're very intelligent and they know what not to eat and they will stay away from that," said Eppley-Neuman.

The goats are also some pretty professional grazers, you can actually hire them from the farm to graze on overgrown terrain like knotweed.

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