Red clover - biodiverse, sustainable and good for you!
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
As well as offering many potential health benefits, the farming of red clover offers many environmental benefits. It is a leguminous crop, so it fixes its own nitrogen, thereby avoiding any requirement for energy-hungry nitrogen fertilisers. No pesticides are used in its production,
At flowering, the whole field hums with bumble bees, they must travel for miles to visit the crop! Then, in the late summertime, it is one of the last flowering crops around, and Red Admiral butterflies gather for one last feast before autumn properly sets in.
It is deep rooted, so is drought resistant and needs no watering, even in droughts. The roots gather atmospheric carbon dioxide, depositing it far underground, and adding to soil fertility at the same time.
In short, it is a very ecologically sustainable crop, and one that has often been described as “the cornerstone of organic farming”. The co-product is very protein rich, and can be used as an alternative to soya, displacing environmentally damaging imported feedstuffs. And when we have extracted the components that are of interest to us, the remaining solids can still be fed to cows, just as it would otherwise have been!