Let's Be Like Cover Crops: Building Community



Crimson Clover in bloom!

Winter is hard. It’s usually hard. Frost on the ground makes it impossible to dig. To step out into an icy day quivers the shins and can freeze hope for a while. And staying in can only make that feeling worse. This year it’s going to be harder. More Americans are dying every single day from COVID-19 than the number of those who died on 9/11. This will be going on for months. People will feel isolated and lonely. They will gather inside. Cases in my home state of Virginia went up by nearly 60 percent this week alone. The virus will spread, and, even with the first doses of the vaccine on their way, it’s very possible that we’re looking at another year before the average person in our general population gets a chance. 

I know I’ve felt the tragedy of this pandemic weighing heavier than ever in recent days. I feel tired, angry, and sad. Frustrated more than anything. The fact that there has been absolutely no federal intervention has made the U.S. the COVID epicenter of the entire world. So, what am I here to talk about, here in the midst of our collective grief and anxiety? Here at the start of what will prove to be one of our country’s hardest winters? Crimson Clover and Daikon Radish. 

You read that right. Crimson Clover and Daikon Radish. These are cover crops with a purpose, a unique connection to one another and the ground in which they grow. They are friends who help your soil. They bring happiness to all the beneficial microbes that live in your land, and we could all use a dose of their simple magic right about now. 

“Okay…” you’re saying, “but what does this have to do with this depressing winter? This terrible timing? This aching in my head?” And, to that, I would reply that Crimson Clover and Daikon Radish are here for us when very few others are. They do their work over the winter. 

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