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'Goat Ice Cream' And Canes For Veterans: Dallas Farm Upcycles Old Christmas Trees

A goat sniffs Bonton Farms CEO Daron Babcock in greeting from behind a fence in winter, 2017.
Courtney Collins
Daron Babock greets a Bonton Farms goat, penned inside what's known as the "goat mansion," back in 2017.

Once the ornaments are stripped and the lights unwound, instead of hauling the Christmas tree out to the curb, consider dropping it off at Bonton Farms in South Dallas.

While tree needles may be vacuum-fodder at home, to the goats at Bonton Farms they're a delicacy.

"I love ice cream. Well pine needles to goats are like ice cream to me," laughed Bonton Farms CEO Daren Babcock.

The working urban farm with a café, coffee shop and market is in a south Dallas neighborhood once considered a food desert.

The farm is accepting real, non-treated trees until Jan. 9. While the branches are reserved for the goats, the trunks are set aside for a group that turns them into walking canes for veterans.

"It's just a beautiful story when you're able to take something that would otherwise be discarded and have no value and to think about it a little deeper and to find ways that those un-valuable things, their value can be restored and redeemed," Babcock said.

Learn More About Bonton Farms' Christmas Tree Drop-Off:

  • Continues until Jan. 9
  • Untreated, real trees only
  • Send an email to with your name, number of trees, phone number and what time you'd like to drop off.
  • Bulk drop off requests can also contact

Got a tip? Email Courtney Collins at You can follow Courtney on Twitter @courtneylc82.

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Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.