clover mills

As early as 1650, red clover (Trifolium pratense) was cultivated as a forage crop in Britain and was soon recognized for its ability to increase soil fertility.  Like other legumes, clover plants contain symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobia within nodules in their root systems.  These bacteria absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and transform it into ammonium compounds which aid the plant’s growth. This process is known as nitrogen fixation. When the roots and stubble are ploughed under, the decaying plants then release the fixed nitrogen into the soil.  Red clover is thus known as a “green manure” crop.  Before the development of commercial fertilizers, clover was commonly used in a rotation system to prepare fields for later crops of wheat, corn or other grains  At the end of a season the clover was harvested and processed through various devices, some are shown below,  to separated to produce animal feed by separating the seed which provided the next crop. Any excess was sold on to other Farmers.


Clover mill with a winnower below to blow away any chaff or other light material

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Corely mill

This is a clover mill from Flanders, which moves back and forth. Stones were added onto the bed to help the separation and ensure the seed kept moving