THE UTAH FARM
My son's father owned a house in the United States - in the Wild West, so to speak, high in the mountains. We spent our vacation there once a year. The place seemed ideal to me for the cultivation of medicinal plants, those from organic cultivation were still difficult to obtain at that time. Without further ado I decided to buy a neighboring farm - a gut decision. Later I often wondered what I was thinking of shopping in the land of the Mormons and Cowboys.
The 50 hectares were and are mainly pasture land, in the region the "cattle" is practiced (calves are marked with branding iron, cows are caught by horse with the lasso). My idea of growing herbs, on top of that "organic", made Mormons and cowboys laugh.
But there are nice, helpful people out there in the vastness of the West and I followed their advice to leave the pastures to graze for the animals instead of plowing them up for growing herbs. The country was originally desert sand, nothing would have grown on it anyway. So I involuntarily became a cowherd on my farm, only the edges of the pasture I used for growing herbs. Since I was certified organic, it was also the cows, to the hearty laughter of my neighbors.
Of course, I had never owned a herd of cows before, but it's basically difficult for me to do what everyone else does. My favorite thing to do was "Everything Different from the Others" (the four A's with which, as marketing strategists say, you do everything right.) I didn't let my cows be vaccinated, instead they grew their horns and put them on the bulls with them Pasture. I even released an Angus bull on my Hereford cows. Next to it, my neighboring cowboys said with amusement. But I was proud of my bull and felt that the bull was proud of his 20 head harem. A nice little herd flinched over the pastures - about 40 cows and young cattle. Once a year they were rounded up and the young animals put up for auction, crammed into a large coral. There the cool cowboys sat with the beer can on the wooden borders and pondered about their most beautiful cattle and who would probably win the best price this time. Unbelievable, but true: I got it, true to the saying: "The stupidest farmers harvest the largest potatoes", a wisdom unknown in the USA. "Gentlemen," I can only say there was something going on. But cowboys can also be gentlemen, and soon we were able to look forward to fruitful cooperation and neighborhood. That was in 1998. I hardly made any money with my cows, at that time there was no market for organic meat. However, I did not make any special efforts, because the herd was primarily there not to let the pasture be used up. I was able to use the manure for the growing herb cultivation very well.
When the so-called mad cow disease became popular in the USA in 2001, the tide turned. Within a few months people only wanted organic meat and I was able to sell my cows four times as much. The neighboring rancher now wanted to learn from me how to "go organic" - since then they have also known how to do it in Utah. I was less fortunate to grow herbs. Exceptions were and are the native plants that are highly valued by the Indians. So I redesigned and only harvested herbs like this. This gave rise to the Wild Utah men's series, which is still my personal favorite product today - even though I actually developed it for men's skin.