From NorthStar Bison: "My goal for this weeks blog is to describe how nature naturally prepares animals for harvest and, subsequently, how that impacts our buying habits and eating experiences. Believe it or not, meats raised as nature intended, "bloom" just like a flower, making there a perfect time to harvest that "flower" for maximum nutrient density, flavor, and energy.
As you know, nature operates in cycles. The late winter months give way to spring and lush new life abounds from the earth providing the perfect environment for giving birth and raising a young, new generation. As spring progresses, the heat of the summer provides of ample forage for both mom and baby with plenty of lazy days lounging in the shade. Summer spills into a few cooler nights signifying Autumn's arrival and a wake-up-call that Winter is on it's heels. As the evenings begin to frost, plants begin to slow their volume growth and instead transform their nutrient cycling to producing sugars and energy... exactly what animals need to fatten themselves for the upcoming winter months.
Our harvest season runs largely from September through January to stay within nature's window of natural fattening. Not only does this provide the highest quality eating experience, the animal is at it's physical health peak which correlates to peak nutrient density in the meat, bones, & organs. Maximum yield is also reached in this period which is of great value if we intend to be completely responsible with every animal. It's no coincidence that natives hunted heavily in the fall then relied upon dried meat, fruits, roots, nuts, fish, and vegetables the remainder of the year. As the indigenous people knew well, energy was their most valuable resource. To consume foods that weren't highly nutrient dense was a poor use of their energy as well as a poor use of that particular food source. Times and cultures have changed from sustenance to snobbish (yes, we now have the luxury of actually choosing what we want to eat based upon what we like to eat) but would be no different than eating a green, unripe strawberry... you'd have to force yourself to eat it. Give that same strawberry a couple of weeks to ripen and it will be a delicious, nutrient-rich treat.
Having a seasonal harvest window isn't convenient. It's why feedlots exist; to make things controlled, consistent, predictable. But we aren't here for easier, we're here for nature. What is nature's way? How can we mimic nature in our harvest? Our peaceful field harvest process captures each animal as it naturally reaches full bloom.
Utmost respect given to the contribution of the animal.
Maximum nutrient density.
Most incredible eating experience.
Nature is amazing and has everything we need... we simply must give her a chance to give it to us."