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All natural lawnmowers: Shaker Village’s sheep grazing program

Ewe won’t believe your eyes.

Sheep grazing on grass under solar panels.

The sheep will mozy + mow their way around the land through the spring, summer + fall. | Photo provided by Shaker Village

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One of the legacies of the Shaker way of life at Shaker Village is concerned care for land. The nonprofit organization is helping to extend that care throughout the Bluegrass through its sheep grazing partnership with LG&E and KU.

All-natural lawn mowers

The program started in the spring of 2020 when Shaker Village provided 25 Shetland sheep to graze the solar field at the E.W. Brown Generating Station in Mercer County. The sheep act as lawnmowers as they can easily maneuver around + under solar arrays — which is tough for a standard lawnmower.

“We’re happy to provide a green and sustainable way to help care for our neighbor’s land,” said Shaker Village farm manager Michael Moore. “Our farm gravitates toward heritage breeds, like Shetlands, that were raised by the Shakers of Pleasant Hill. This allows us to connect our farm story directly to the agricultural history of this region.”

The flock and acreage they care for have increased each year since the launch of the program.

Fun fact: Yesterday, Monday, April 17, 50+ sheep were moved into 50 acres of the solar field for their yearly sojourn. They will stay throughout the spring, summer, and fall + return to the Shaker Village Farm for the winter.

Ewe-tube channel

The program became so popular that a live-streaming sheep cam was launched in 2021. You can check in on the flock anytime by tuning into the appropriately named “EweTube” channel.

This unique partnership also inspired the launch of the children’s book, “Levi the Lamb’s Big Day,” which follows a day in the life of a lamb who grazes the facility. The book was written by LG&E and KU manager of Technology Research and Analysis, Aaron Carter + is available for purchase online or at the Shaker Village Gift Shop.

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