On the first day of October, we had an unexpected and disturbing incident at the community garden. Some time during the night, the City’s heavy-duty fence on the Angus Campbell Road cul-de-sac was cut to gain access to our goat enclosure. As a result, our goat guests were found loose on the street early in the morning. Fortunately, the goat care team leader was able to round them up and herd them back to safety. Quick arrangements were made with the farmer who owns the goats, and he came to take them back home to their herd that same day. We shudder to think of what could have happened, but thankfully this was a happy ending.
Goats have been part of the Abbotsford Community Garden experience since the beginning. Every summer, two (and this year, three) young females from a local herd come to live at the garden and are cared for by dedicated garden volunteers. Goats provide an effective biological control of the invasive blackberry brambles that plague our area as they browse on leaves and shoots.
We do not have any information about why this attack on the goats took place. It saddens us that anyone could have had so little concern for the consequences of letting domestic animals out onto the street. This incident put the goats under our care at great a risk of harm. As a result, there will be no goats at the garden during the 2020 season. We will take the year off from keeping goats, after which the ACG will re-evaluate if we will host goats in the future.