Wedged between train tracks in an industrial corner of San Francisco, a herd of goats is dining on piles of old Christmas trees.
They aren’t picky about the type — fir, pine or spruce — but the newest tree is automatically deemed the most delicious, and anything sprayed with flame retardant is shunned.
The goats belong to City Grazing, a full-service goat grazing company that usually rents out the animals to help clear brush in the Bay Area.
For the second year, City Grazing is inviting residents to feed their old Christmas trees to the goats. It’s an environmental alternative to leaving trees on the curb or burning them on Ocean Beach as part of the 25-year-old Post Yule Pyre.
A partnership with the San Francisco Fire Department, the goat program benefits tree owners and animals alike. Christmas trees dry out quickly and can become a fire hazard. Goats are hungry, and the trees have extra vitamin C and provide de-worming benefits.
Most people are shocked to hear goats can still afford rent in the city. In fact, they share land in the Bayview district with the San Francisco Bay Railroad, a short-line railroad that runs cargo between San Francisco and Richmond.
City Grazing started eight years ago when San Francisco Bay Railroad owner David Gavrich bought a handful of goats to graze along his tracks. The company now has 80 goats that are rented out to regular clients like landscapers, UCSF and the SF department of Recreation and Parks.
Read the rest of the story and see the pictures here.