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Sep 15, 2011 3:31 AM by Kirsten Bennett

Portland puts goats to work

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Residents and businesses in Portland, Ore., are using an effective, chemical-free solution to battle blackberry briars, English ivy and weeds in overgrown city lots.

Goats are the scourge of the bramble, and a new denizen in this city's long love affair with agriculture and all things green. City chickens have become vested Portland residents. Urban goats are now getting a look-over, with positive early reviews.

One satisfied customer says goats are an "old-fashioned solution to an old-fashioned problem."

Georgina Stiner's Goat Rental NW has about 100 goats. There are similar businesses listed across the country.

Stiner's sales pitch: Goats eat all day, but you pay by the acre, not by the hour. Goats don't need time off, worker's comp or health insurance. And goats will get the job done.

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