Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Crop of the Week"

Instead of writing about the greenest beer (in terms of carbon footprint, that is) we here at Just Saying decided to dedicate a post to the honorable forage crop: White Clover (Trifolium repens). It may look familiar to you for several reasons:

  • When you were a child, you likely picked through a patch in your parents' lawn in hopes of finding one with four leaves.
  • It is planted and gobbled up on pastures all over Maryland.
  • It looks like (or is currently considered) a weed in your yard.
  • It is 'harvested' by your own kids when the white flowers it produces are the only ones within the yard boundaries they are allowed to pick.
  • It, or a clover similar to it, is pictured in the widely-recognized 4-H emblem.
  • At least one person in your office has fashioned at least one blinking clover-esque tchotchke to their jacket, hat, tie or necklace today. 

The clover is all of these things and more! It is one of the most important and widely distributed forage legumes in the world. It is technically an invasive, thought to have originated in the Mediterranean are and brought to the U.S. by early European settlers, but currently growing in nearly every state and thriving in the cool, moist climate of the Northeast. Along with being palatable to horses, sheep and deer, white clover may be used as a cover crop to prevent soil erosion and naturally replenish nitrogen.

Want more? Visit the corresponding hyperlinks throughout this post or give us feedback in the comments section below.

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