Adaptive Seeds

Cover Crops

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  • Crimson Clover

    Clover, Crimson (Organic)

    Trifolium incarnatum.

    An excellent winter or spring cover crop known primarily for its nitrogen fixing properties and high biomass production. Large, strikingly beautiful crimson flowers appear in the late spring and are great food for bees and other pollinators. In regions where the winter stays above 0°F, Crimson Clover is sown in the late summer and overwintered as a biennial. Can grow up to 3′ tall. Cover crops are a key way to build organic matter in your soil and protect from erosion. Perfect for summer under-sowing in crops like corn or squash that tend to stay in the field too late to get a traditional winter cover crop going. Hardy to zone 6.

    Seed produced by Praying Mantis Farm in Canby, Oregon.

    Photos by Carri Heisler of Pitchfork & Crow.

  • fava sweet lorane

    Fava Bean, Sweet Lorane (Organic)

    Vicia faba.

    Small seeded favas are usually relegated to cover crop status, but Sweet Lorane was selected to have good, sweet flavor, so it’s an excellent choice for a dual-purpose crop to feed both the soil and the gardener. The flavor is excellent and is especially delicious in fava hummus. Usually sown in autumn for cover cropping and for higher yields, favas may also be spring sown. Extremely winter hardy – we have seen this variety muster through winter temps of 0ºF with only a few inches of snow for protection. When grown as a dry bean, Sweet Lorane is less prone to splitting during harvest than the larger seeded types. Bred by Steve Solomon in the 1980s and re-selected more recently by Alan Adesse right here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

    Seed produced by Lonesome Whistle Farm in Junction City, Oregon.

  • common rye

    Rye, Common

    Secale cereale.

    Rye grain is commonly grown as an overwintering cover crop, and is also delicious milled up and cooked into rolls, crackers, and other baked-good deliciousness. Common Rye is particularly well-suited to growing here in the Pacific Northwest. Sown in September, it is a critical component to our farm’s overwintering cover crop rotation. Plants are small going into winter but with sunny spring days they shoot up to 6′ tall and produce tons of biomass to incorporate back into the soil.

    Seed produced by Lonesome Whistle Farm in Junction City, Oregon.