To a farmer, dirt is beautiful.
The smell, texture and look of the vineyard soil at Youngberg Hill is simply beautiful. But as beautiful as it is, there is sometimes the need to fertilize the soil. To do it organically, we use compost materials. You can buy compost or even ‘certified organic material’, but I am somewhat skeptical of certifications. So we decided to start developing our own compost at Youngberg Hill. This requires diligent animals. We board horses during the summer on our pasture, but horses do not leave the most beneficial manure. Cows do!
We could have gone to an auction and picked up a couple of feeders, but that would have been too easy and not nearly as entertaining. And we wanted to find a more unique and engaging breed.
We discovered that several of our vineyard-owning friends raise Scottish Highland cattle. This breed is very distinctive, docile, comfortable around people, and cute. Our friends Jill and Brian O’Donnell, who own Belle Pente, had a young female that they were willing to part with.
On the day we had scheduled to pick her up, Brian informed me that they had not yet separated her from her mother. This was going to be interesting. When we arrived with our trailer, she was frightened and angry about the impending relocation. Keep in mind this young female weighed about 800 pounds. As we were coaxing her into the trailer, she bolted, almost tore a hole in a nearby car with her horn, and drug me about 30 feet before she stopped and noticed her “cargo.” My butt still hurts.
Since that day this cow has found Youngberg Hill to be a happy home and is thought to be as lovable as a lapdog by all who come up to visit. She is a rare beauty and a great listener!