We’re in the midst of clover season here in Tualatin Valley. While traversing the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route this spring, round a corner and—whoa!—a delightful red clover field will come into view. It’s a truly breathtaking scene. One of our favorite clover fields can be spotted along Helvetia Road, just north of Highway 26.
Facts about Oregon Clover
Humans don’t eat clover and it’s not a hot-selling item in spring bouquets. So, why do so many Oregon Farms grow clover?
Crimson fields are most often used as a cover crop. Crimson’s nitrogen-fixing properties make it an ideal cover crop for replenishing soils for the next round of soybeans, corn or other major crops.
Keeping Good Soil in Check
After the nitrogen-fix of clover has done its magic, the clover continues to be beneficial as the crop provides erosion prevention, helps hold onto moisture in the soil and eventually decomposes into more healthy, organic soil for farmers to use.
Chomping on Clover
While humans do not eat clover, many grazing livestock does. High protein clover is also easily digestible—a winning combination.
You know who else likes clover? Bees!—and it shows in the clover honey you can pick up at Smith Berry Barn.
There’s a lot of clover in Oregon for a reason. According to the Oregon Clover Commission, over 95% of crimson clover seed in the United States is produced in Oregon (and much of that comes from Tualatin Valley). Hence, yet another benefit of clover here is that our clover’s seeds are harvested and sold across the nation.
The turning of the season means the turning of the clovers. As the red fields become peppered with white, changing color clover, you’ll have a driver-side view of one of Oregon’s most beautiful crops.