Cow Therapy On The Vineyard

Meet Beauty  and Beast.
These two 8 month old heifers are the latest addition at Youngberg Hill and come from totally different backgrounds. Beauty is a friendly Black Angus from Crescent Farms, owners of the Crescent Café in McMinnville. Beast is a shy pure bred Scottish Highland from Belle Pente Vineyards in Carlton.  Both girls will be groomed over the winter to be impregnated next summer for calving in the spring of 2013. One of these new calves will be raised for meat; the other will most likely be sold or kept to increase the herd.

Why did we bring cows onto Youngberg Hill? The primary reason is to improve our farming practices. How so? We have been farming organically for over 8 years and have sustainable practices in place. We have seen the results of these better farming practices in the quality of the grapes we are growing and the wine we are producing. We also know that we can do even more to protect and improve the health and quality of the soil and grapevines. That is where the cows come in.  As we move toward more biodynamic farming practices, we will continue to balance all the life forms (both plant and animal) on The Hill to be in sync with nature. Bring the cows onto the property, using their manure for composting and their foraging in the pasture, will all contribute to those balances of life on The Hill.

If you would have asked me 8 years ago if I would be having cows at Youngberg Hill I would have said ‘no’.  Now that they are here I could not imagine life without them.  I love going out every day and interacting with them.  I call it my cow therapy.  They are small enough to not be intimidating but by next spring they will look like they could crush you with one ill placed step.  My original goal was to just get them use to being around people.  I never thought that I would enjoy being around them as much as I do.  Beauty loves being scratched under her chin and by her ears just like a big dog.   Cows can be a beautiful thing.  Even the hairy Highlander grows on you and becomes quite charming.

What do you think of our latest addition?

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