Planting Crimson Clover

We were able to get some crimson clover planted this past week. Crimson is by far one of the most beautiful crops that we grow, it’s the deep red (aka crimson colored) clover that blooms early in the spring. You know the one, it usually has folks out taking family pictures in it (hopefully with permission…haha).

Here is a brief video of how we did it this year.

Crimson clover is grown for seed on our farm. It is usually the first crop that we harvest in the summer and the seed is used for cover cropping, and wildlife and pasture mixes.

There is always a lot going on during the fall, planting is one thing that you always strive to get done early before it gets too late and too wet to get out onto the fields without getting stuck. Moving into fall we have had some warm sun and great rains; which hopefully will continue as we all work get finished up before winter. So far for me, it feels good to get at least one field off the list.

If you have any questions or comments, please drop them below!
Happy Friday!

Triage of Fall Farming

Most of the time when folks think of when farmers here in Oregon are most busy, many would agree that harvest time would be the obvious answer. And in many ways that’s true. Through summer we are working seven days a week, often 14 hours or more a day. But if you look beyond just the “time” aspect, for me, the fall always feels much busier.

During summer harvest you usually find yourself and your crew in a groove. People know what to do pretty much everyday, because it’s the same thing they did yesterday and will often do tomorrow. But in the fall when the end of harvest is winding up for the year and we are gearing up for the next year’s crop, everything seems to come at you all at once.

So lately we have been harvesting filberts when we can get into the orchards. Our seasonal rain here on one hand helps the nuts fall naturally from the tree, which is good because we harvest the nuts off the ground. But it also creates windows of time where you have to wait for the ground to dry enough to be able to harvest off the ground.

So in the “in between” we are also getting ground worked to plant. In the fall we plant our perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, crimson clover, swiss chard, and filberts. We are also applying weed control and fertilizer to many of our established fields. Meanwhile getting projects done such as ditch cleaning, excavation projects, etc.

So in perfect fall fashion the last few weeks have been a triage of “what to do today”. We have been able to get a few fields planted, worked and ready for winter, the tall fescue is all in and we have about quarter of the crimson drilled (planted), and killed off some sprout.

This week we will get back to harvesting the second (and hopefully last) time in our filberts.

And then after more planting in the good weather windows, more excavation repair and maintenance projects….at some point….we will all be very happy that it is finally November!!

Blooming Crimson Clover

One of my favorite crops that we grow on our farm is crimson clover.  We grow this crop for seed and as a rotational crop between grass species.  One of the main reasons it’s my favorite is because of how beautiful it is.  As a side note, this crop is not usually grown because it makes us any money (hahaha)!  Maybe that’s not funny to people who aren’t farmers, but the point here is that we grow some crops because of the benefits they give us in the soil and in rotational weed control, not because of how cushioned they make our pocketbooks.

We will harvest this crop late June to early July. Until that point we get to watch it get more and more red as the bees do their work pollinating.  We bring about one hive of bees per acre to pollinate.  These bees along with native bees do all the work to get us a good seed crop.  Once the blooms are done, the bees are removed to other crops to feed them.  Then we wait while the crop matures, dries down and gets ready to be harvested.

The seed that we harvest will be cleaned to be free of any weeds or other seeds. And then sold and used for cover cropping, wildlife mixes and soil regeneration projects.  Until then while you drive around this time of year, look around and enjoy the beauty these fields bring to the Oregon landscape.

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