When we hear the word Goat these days, many think of the word as an acronym for the “Greatest Of All Time’.  This term was made widely popular in New England as the media and fans alike began to refer to Tom Brady as the GOAT.  While he may be the GOAT in the eyes of Pats fans, others may have their own GOAT… it could be Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, Hank Aaron or the four-legged critter that can scale mountains and clear a patch of poison ivy in a matter of days.

Recently, I was pondering a way to eradicate the landscape from invasive species, particularly the Japanese Knotweed. The invasive weed was introduced to the USA in 1873 by someone who felt that the durable, unique leaf structure with its abundance of rose-colored fruits would make a wonderful addition to the American landscape… especially in open fields and on the sides of highways.

This nasty, invasive species can break through the blacktop of your driveway and even penetrate your foundation walls. While the plant itself may have some scientific and medicinal use, to me, it is merely an annoyance waiting to overtake a flower bed or grove of trees. In fact, some lenders will not grant a mortgage for a home purchase where knotweed may be encroaching upon the home.

The best way to eradicate knotweed from your property is with grazing animals… sheep or goats work best.  There are several places in Massachusetts where you can buy or rent goats to clear your land. In my case, the knotweed is invading from a neighboring property who doesn’t care about the landscape in the least. Every year I clear out my share of the knotweed, but the roots are so strong and invasive that you see new shoots popping up as far as 50 feet from where we’ve cleared.

I haven’t figured out how to get this neighbor engaged with the issue. Just a look at the property and even a novice landscaper can tell that they don’t give a crap. Maybe if I buy the goats, they will maintain and fence them in? For $500 worth of goats and some fencing, it could be the best land clearing plan that I’ve ever implemented.

By John P. Napolitano CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST Founder & Chairman Read More