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Striking a Balance - Goats on vegetation duty around Clinton

Susan Swan's weekly column of community news and events around Clinton.
Wendy Voigt (seated) draws a small crowd of interested spectators as she spins during the annual Clinton Art & Artisan Show.

Goats on Patrol

Weed control just doesn’t get any more environmentally friendly than having goats eat the noxious weeds while leaving the ‘good’ stuff behind.

A herd of over 200 goats has been patrolling the fields, hills and roadsides around Clinton for the past couple of weeks.

Conrad and Donna Lindblom of Beaverlodge, Alberta own the herd. The Lindbloms started Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control in 2002 after years as cattle ranchers.

Originally the goats were used to clear vegetation around young pine and spruce trees that had been planted after areas were logged. This reduced the time and cost of keeping vegetation down while the newly planted trees became established. There was also much less environmental impact than using pesticides.

The business expanded to include weed control for noxious weeds, as goats will pass up lush grasses to eat woody stemmed, leafed plants instead. This includes Canada thistle, knapweed, tansy and toad flax.

With their five dogs and local herder Wayne Griffith helping out, Lindblom and the goats head into areas that need weeds cleared out and the goats go to work. The riders and dogs keep the goats from straying too far. They also keep watch for coyotes, cougars or anything else that might like to make a meal of a young goat.

After years of doing this type of work, the Lindbloms are encouraging others to get into the business. Theirs is the only goatherd in Canada that is currently being bred specifically for weed control. Unlike cows and horses, goats can eat just about any weed and not expel the seeds.

The project in the Clinton area is a joint project with the TNRD, BC Hydro and the Village of Clinton. While in the Clinton area the goatherd is being kept at Elliott Park when not out earning their keep. If you are out and about please drive carefully when you see the goats as they are clearing weeds on some of the roadsides as well as at Boyd Pit and other areas.

Art & Artisan Show

The Clinton Art and Cultural Society hosted the Eighth Annual Art and Artisan Show and Sale from Oct. 4-6 in the Clinton Memorial Hall.

As one approached the hall on Friday evening they could be forgiven for thinking they had stepped back in time as the front of the building had been decorated to resemble a frontier town, complete with townspeople and a horse at the hitching post, gaving a preview of what was waiting inside.

The theme of the show this year was Clinton Heritage 150/50. Many of the entries followed this theme and attendees got the chance to vote for their favourite in the themed section as well as favourite overall. Unfortunately my deadline fell before the closing of the show and the announcement of the winners. Watch for that next week.

As in the past the different mediums used made it difficult to choose a favourite. With works in acrylic, watercolour, oil, oil pastel, hand painted photo, scratch art, mixed media, soft pastel, photos, photo art and clay there were so many excellent entries to view.

In addition to the art work displayed there were a number of artisans on hand with a variety of items. Dirk Broeder displayed his beautiful, detailed leather work and also demonstrated the techniques he uses to create them. Karla Cummins had posters, cards, fridge magnets and more available to purchase. Tracy Fallstrom also had gift cards, magnets, and more available.

Kristine Hendry (Longhorn Rope Creations) had a fascinating variety of home décor items made or accented with used lariat rope. These included picture frames, water fountains, bowls, baskets, lamps, wreaths, clocks, and much more.

Sandy Reed sold woodwork clocks, puzzles, etc. while Melva Saunders had greeting cards and Raku pottery for sale. Ann Trembath had a table full of her unique jewellery pieces.

Nancy McMinn gave demonstrations in clay sculpture while Mark Coe demonstrated his detailed wood carving techniques.

Many of the David Stoddart School students had art work on display. If these pieces are any indication, the art show will continue on into the next generation. There is lots of young talent in Clinton.

There were also displays of some of the projects and awards of the 4-H group: Earl Cahill had a display of old hand drawn pictures; the Bonaparte Band had a display of Regalia and bead work, and Mark Coe displayed some of his carved firearms, knives, cups and more. The detail in his carved birds is unbelievable!

There was also a silent auction of donated items to help raise funds for the group. Several Clinton businesses and some individuals donated items for this.

Kudos to the artists and artisans who took part, the organizers, the students who helped out, those who donated to the silent auction and to everyone who came out to support our local artists and artisans. It is great to see so much talent in one room. Well done!

Water Concerns

The Village advised residents of Clinton that hydrant flushing and maintenance would be taking place from Oct. 7-11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Water could be discoloured during those times but should settle over a short period of time.

Seniors Meeting

The Clinton Seniors Association regular monthly will follow lunch on Thursday, Oct. 17 in the Seniors Centre at 217 Smith Ave.

Special Guest Speaker Candice Martin of Service Canada will attend to discuss Canada Pensions and Old Age Security and other senior-related topics. All seniors are welcome to attend this 1 p.m. Session.

Fall Craft Sale

Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 26 for the Fifth Annual Fall Craft Sale in the Clinton Memorial Hall. Doors open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A few tables are still available. If you are a crafter or artisan and you would like to book a table please contact Susan at 250-459-2224 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, email her at or drop by Country Squire Gift Shop for a registration form.

Hallowe’en Dance

Also on Saturday, Oct. 26 is the Hallowe’en Dance sponsored by the Royal Canadian Legion #194, Clinton Branch.

This is also being held in the Memorial Hall. Tickets are available from the Legion.

Susan Swan