While traveling in Nepal, along mountain slopes in the foothills of the Annapurna Massif, I began to notice the perfectly manicured yards. At first I thought that the locals simply had a deep inclination toward orderliness, because they achieved such tidiness despite a complete absence of electricity or fuel oil. Only later did I realize that their well-mown lawns were thanks to their herds of goats.
When I returned to Russia, I was irritated by the scruffy appearance of my own yard. Dandelions, hogweed, nettle, thistle and burdock are very difficult to uproot by hand, despite the fact that I have all of the necessary implements to do so. These tools merely left my hands covered with bloody blisters, while the lawn still looked as depressing as before. Desperate, I remembered the goats and decided to try and raise one myself, in order to see whether it might work like a lawn mower.
Before I made my purchase, I did a bit of research and found that the use of animals to keep one’s grass cut is rather widespread: herds are rented out together with mobile fencing, and both sheep and goats are able to trim (and fertilize) a rather large patch of ground. It is a straightforward and environmentally sustainable solution. And strange that the practice is little used here.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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