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Will Goatscaping catch on? A look at sustainable land clearing practices at Two Step Farm’s Goat Breaking


In the heart of Montgomery County, Texas, lies a new community that’s taking an innovative approach to land management. On April 24th, Two Step Farm hosted a unique event that captured the attention of locals and nature enthusiasts alike. Instead of relying on traditional methods like machinery or chemicals to clear brush, Two Step Farm introduced a herd of 450 goats to the scene, letting nature take the lead in restoring balance to the land, in what the project team has coined a Goat Breaking.

The concept of using goats for land management isn’t new, but it’s gaining popularity as people seek sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. Late last year, The Trail Conservancy in Austin, Texas hired 85 goats to clear a portion of Lady Bird Lake’s banks of poison ivy. So, why goats?

Goats are natural browsers, meaning they prefer to eat a variety of plants, including brush, invasive species, and weeds. This makes them incredibly effective at clearing overgrown areas without damaging the soil or native vegetation, unlike heavy machinery which can often cause soil compaction and erosion. Utilizing goats in lieu of heavy machinery, controlled burns and even pesticides is more economically viable to many municipalities, nonprofits, and organizations and safer for the environment as well. For example, if the project site contains a watershed, pesticides could create risk to the environment.

At Two Step Farm, the Goat Breaking event wasn’t just about clearing brush; it was also about fostering a sense of community and environmental stewardship. The goat herd was provided by Open Space TX and will ultimately live on site at the goat farm when they’re finished clearing the land. Attendees were invited to witness the goats leap into action, learning about their role in restoring the land and promoting biodiversity. Onlookers and residents watched as the goats roamed freely, munching on invasive plants such as Chinese Privet and Yaupon Holly and turning them into valuable fertilizer.

For the Two Step Farm project team, the Goat Breaking event was a success on multiple fronts. Not only did it help to clear brush and improve the overall health of the land, but it also raised awareness about alternative methods of land management. By harnessing the power of nature, Two Step Farm is leading the way towards a more sustainable future—one goat step at a time.

In addition to the success seen at Two Step Farm, similar initiatives have been gaining traction elsewhere in Texas. TBG has been fortunate to be involved in two additional projects that utilized goats for land clearing, including Painted Tree, a new community in McKinney, Texas, and Commons at Agora, a mixed-use development in Corinth, Texas. Just like at Two Step Farm, these projects have showcased the effectiveness and sustainability of employing goats for land management. With the success of these projects, as well as Painted Tree, the hope is to continue to propose this approach and replicate the model whenever possible. These endeavors not only demonstrate the practicality of using goats for land clearing but also underscore the growing commitment to environmentally friendly practices in development projects across the state.