Aynsleigh Kerchak feeds the trees to her goats at Aurora Farm
By Diego Flammini
A St. Norbert, Man.-area farmer is asking the public to drop off their real Christmas trees once the holiday festivities are over.
That’s because Aynsleigh Kerchak, who farms 180 acres at Aurora Farm, feeds the trees to the farm’s 17 dairy goats.
Kerchak has accepted Christmas trees for the last 15 years, but only in the last three or four years has she called on the public to donate the used trees.
The trees are “a nice snack for the (goats) and a change from their hay,” Kerchak told Farms.com. “They love eating the needles and the bark, so much so that they’ll eat every last Christmas tree if we don’t monitor the goats.”
In addition to the special treat, the Christmas trees also have health benefits for the goats.
“The needles act as a natural de-wormers for the goats,” she said. “Last year we had so many trees and the goats ate so many needles that we didn’t need to de-worm them after the winter, which is kind of unheard of.”
The goats will eat the trees all winter. Anything left over will be turned into wood chips for the farm’s gardens.
Kerchak estimates she has a pile of about 50 Christmas trees on her farm, with more donations likely to come soon.
The farm is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and people usually stay to see if the goats are interested in their offerings.
“We’re still technically in the city (of Winnipeg), but a lot of people don’t know who we are,” she said. “But those that do come to drop off a tree will stay and say hi to the goats. (The visit) can make for some nice family time.”
Kerchak uses the milk from her goats to make soap. She also raises alpacas and uses the fleece to make yarn.