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Cultural Cornerstones
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Farmers Market Archive
Sunday
Mar162014

Biking for Buffalo

Article by Rachel Kahn, MCT Contributor

You will immediately fall head over heels in love with Nicholas Heimer of Buffalo by Bike. Speaking to him is like witnessing joy. He is authentic. His eyes sparkle and glow. I felt inspired in his presence. His mission is so heart felt I wasn’t sure whether to applaud, cry happy tears, or just laugh, dance, and hug him! Oh yea, and just in case that isn’t enough, this wiry guy with a heart of gold pedals a 300 pound freezer full of buffalo on the back of his bike just to bring the Mill City Farmers Market his passion.  Intrigued? You ought to be.

May 11, 2013 Mill City Farmers Market

Nicholas is in love with food.  He began his journey in sustainable farming during a sabbatical to Iowa. He describes his passion with the knowing heartfelt connection of an old soul. He states with stunning candor having found his “peace” and “greater purpose” in working with the abundance of the earth. He is the rarest of individuals in that he is unashamedly real and wants only to follow his path for the greater good.

After returning to Minneapolis, Nicholas took his skills as an organic gardener to the urban farm. He began with a filling a sunroom with seed pots resulting in over 1000 plants in a small space. This mission intrigued his friends and together they turned multiple neighborhood yards into gardens. The results were so plentiful that Nicholas began canning, making chutneys, sauces, and even lacto-fermented veggies. To this day, he is the neighborhood food angel giving away his creations with a smile.

And because people are multi-faceted, Nicholas is a musician and an inventor. He plays the guitar and builds musical instruments. He tells me a story of finding old phones, removing the bells and creating music. Ask him for a story. He will smile and tell you.

So how did this guy find himself quite literally pedaling/peddling buffalo? He originally began working at the Market selling Wild Idea Buffalo. His first day at the MCFM he was traveling at a very early hour in the heart of Minneapolis. He was thinking of the South Dakota ranch and asking for guidance when suddenly, and as if by magic, the largest tumbleweed he had ever seen rolled across the road directly in front of him. He describes a knowing that his path was the right one. Nicholas confirms this by telling me that he just “loves, loves, loves” the Market and when the day closes he just wants to stay, chat, and inspire more people.

Now what about this bicycle? As he was contemplating the most eco-efficient way of bringing his Buffalo to the Market, he describes having a crazy idea to build a bike that would haul the frozen buffalo. Clearly it was meant to be, because leading bicycle experts across the Twin Cities stepped in to help him; designing and creating an absolute first of its kind bicycle able to handle several hundred pounds of weight (600 pounds is his record to date). Even more amazing, not only can it carry this unheard of load, it can still be pedaled! Nicholas will tell you that it isn’t always easy. Sometimes his joints hurt after a long ride of pushing those pedals. Offer him an extra hug when you see him. He has taken a big journey to bring you his passion.

The bison that Buffalo by Bike sells are raised by Wild Idea Buffalo on a sustainable farm in South Dakota. They are humanely raised and harvested with an element of Native American tradition.

Every day Nicholas says a Lakota prayer about gratitude and walking in balance. I am grateful to have met him.

LoveSelf Note:  At LoveSelf we ask you to research the origin of your meat before buying it. Modern day factory farming practices are not only harmful for the animal, they are harmful for both the earth and your body. Protein marketed as grass fed does not always mean that it is 100% grass fed. Typically it is grass fed to a certain point and then put on a grain diet prior to being harvested. Ask questions about the animals diet, living conditions, and end of life practices. Your body, the earth, and the animal will thank you for it.

November 9, 2013 Mill City Farmers Market IndoorAbove, Nicholas chats with customers at a winter Market.

Editors Note: Visit Buffalo by Bike at the April 12 Mill City Farmers Market, held inside the Mill City Museum.

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You can reach Rachel at rachel@loveself.org, www.loveselfmagazine.com

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