Goathead Collection has been in full swing this month! We encourage you to pick ‘em as much as you can prior to the Boise Goathead Fest in August. This Saturday is your chance to participate in a huge, community wide effort to pick as many Goathead plants we can!
Besides the nuisance of flat tires, why do we want to get rid of Goatheads? A major reason is that because they are a invasive species, they take away nutrients and space from native plants. But, we have also learned that Goatheads don’t discriminate. Whether your biking in the Foothills or on the Greenbelt, you run into them. Whether your hike or bike, those nutlets get everywhere. And what about our pups’ paws?! Our four legged friends are Goathead haters, I’m sure.
This Saturday is Boise Kind Day, and we are working with the City of Boise to conduct Goathead pickings throughout the Treasure Valley. To get involved, you can sign up through the City of Boise’s volunteer shifts and pick on some of our busiest trails and recreation areas. Why? To stop the spread of these dang nutlets!
WHERE CAN I PICK?
The Goathead plant is so great at wreaking havoc for many reasons, one being the tenacity of its nutlets. Say you go on a bike ride at Military Reserve, go home, and pluck all the Goatheads out of your tire and onto your driveway. They might not be bustin’ your tires anymore, but they will begin to sprout in your driveway and lawn simply because those nutlets found a lovely home there.
To stop them on the trails is to stop them popping at your home, school, or other bike routes. Count us in!
From the Greenbelt to the Ridge to River trails, the City of Boise team will be out picking from 9-11am on Saturday. Find more information and shifts below!
So what about those areas mentioned above, the ones that are impacted by the Goathead foothills? That’s where we come in. Last year, BBP identified Goathead hotspots that impact our kids the most. We did this because we know many of the kids who receive bicycles from us also receive a flat, almost right away! Many of them don’t have easy access to our shop, therefore that flat tire might mean the last of their adventures.
We don’t want that!
This year we have the same hotspots as well as some new ones, and this is because Goatheads can lay dormant up to five years. Meaning that if we mobilized anyone and everyone to pick every last plant in the Treasure Valley, those things will still pop up and pop our tires. The best way we can approach this prickly challenge is to continue picking at the same spots and see that impact.
So, you want to take on the hotspot challenge? Heck yah! Gather your friends, family, coworkers and weed pullin’ tools and head to one of our hotspots!
HOW DO I PICK THEM PROPERLY?
Heavy duty trash bag (here's a favorite)
Carpet square (optional, but very helpful)
Hori Hori tool for really hard ground (optional, but very helpful, available at North End Organic Nursery)
Pull from the center and remove the entire plan and its taproot. If the taproot breaks off, that's ok. If ground is extremely hard, use something similar to the Hori Hori tool to cut the plant off at the taproot. Be careful not to let any of the goatheads shake loose and fall to the ground.
Carefully put the entire plant and its attached nutlets into the garbage bag
Check the ground for loose goatheads. Sweeping or patting the ground with a carpet square is a good way to pick up any rogue goatheads
Check your shoes and bike tires to make sure you're not spreading goatheads to a new location
Seal/tie the bag and make sure it doesn't break open during transportation
Repeat till the bag/s are full!
WHAT DO I DO WITH MY COLLECTION?
Now, its the end of the day, you’ve picked a bunch of plants. Whew. Let’s go home right? WRONG!
Our partners at North End Organic Nursery are hosting a Goathead dumpster until the end of July where you can measure your collection and add your weight to our 8000lbs goal. On this Saturday from 11-7pm only, Payette Brewing and Boise Goathead Fest will be hosting a Goathead dumpster as well, and what better place to celebrate a great day of sun, community and volunteering?
We can’t wait for this Saturday and to see how many Goatheads we can rid in Boise! See you out there!