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More Than A Blade of Grass

Both red and white clover, is not only a favorite among bison, but also invites more biodiversity to the area with birds and bees.


It's Becca here! Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to be a fly on the wall (and out on the field!) for 3 days to observe a number of the operations atNorthstar Bison. (I live in Minneapolis and, as we so often do, get zeroed in on my writing and naturopath work so I don't get a lot of time admist the ranching, harvesting, processing, or shipping operations. Having 3 whole days to just sit back, observe, and appreciate is a real treat!)


I had my mind’s eye perception of what things might look like from far away and then got the close-up reality of seeing the moving parts to get all of our orders onto our dinner tables! My view only represented a brief moment in time, but it deepened my appreciation even more for all that it takesNorthstar to nourish us with top-of-the-line nutrients!


One of the many observations I had while driving through the fields was the impressive variety of grasses and plant life that the bison have access to. It’s easy for anyone to picture animals eating blades of grass when we hear or read the term “grass-fed,” but it’s just a simplified term. Themore varieties of plant species on display points to a greater quality of soil.


It's fun to watch animals forage out in nature. They know what they want and need. We can learn so much from simply watching animals. Even though I’ll never be able to identify all plant life in existence, I sure love trying! After giving up on counting the number of different plant species out on the Northstar pastures, I asked what they thought was the bison’s favorite go-to. Without any hesitation, the reply was “clover!”


On the pasture that the bison were about to be moved into, I especially noted the red and white clover that was waiting for them. I started to think about all of the undocumented, but beneficial, conversions that the body makes when consuming these kinds of medicinal greens.


There are mountains worth of data collected on the health benefits of red clover alone. As a sampler, red clover contains over 125 constituents! Flavones, isoflavones, coumarins, salicylic acid, nutrients like chromium, calcium, copper, magnesium, Vitamin C, some of the Bs, and the list goes on and on.


Over the ages, humans have been snacking on theflowerheads straight (or steeping it as a tea). The Cherokee are documented to have used it for aiding in fevers and Bright’s disease (affects the kidneys). The Ojibwe are documented for using it with persistent coughs. Iroquois women have made cold infusions of red clover when entering into the menopausal years. Herbalists use it for skin and lymphatic issues, and even in supporting a body burdened by cancer. What I’ve mentioned here is truly just the tip of the iceberg!


When I think about the affinity bison have for clover, I can’t help but wonder about the benefits we get from the bison because of the conversions they’ve already made from it.


When we talk about eating animals that are raised according to their design, we’re often thinking about the benefits based on what they’re NOT supposed to eat (like in the case of bison as ruminants, not consuming grains), but it’s a whole new level of possibilities to consider when animals are given an incredible selection of plant life grown on very fertile soil.


Food is supposed to not only be a vehicle to bring nutrition into your body but it’s ALSO supposed to taste delicious!
If the animals are given the best, we receive the best, too!





Happy Eating to you!

​- Becca & the Northstar Tribe




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