Amos Howard

HowardAmos Howard discovered a weed growing near Mt Barker which proved to be a significant soil enhancer in the poor Australian soils and contributed to the enhancement of the Australian pasture.
Amos William Howard was born on 31 May 1848 Silk Mills, Watford HRT, the son of William Howard, a gardener, and his wife, Ann nee Hester. He arrived in South Australia as an assisted passenger on the Lightning in July 1876 with his wife, Eliza nee Rowe and three children and settled at Blakiston near Mt Barker in the Adelaide Hills where he established a plant nursery for garden plants.
It is claimed that one day in 1889 he went to the farm of Michael Daly to buy a cow and noticed a weed growing on the property. This European plant called Subterranean Clover (Trifolium subterraneum) infused the soil with nitrogen, an essential element in good horticulture and its qualities were quickly taken up by Howard and promoted. Eventually he developed commercial quantities of the seed and the first sales occurred in January 1907. It was subsequently named the miracle plant of the century and was credited with transforming millions of infertile hectares into productive pasture.
Outside the farming community, Amos Howard remains largely unknown. He is remembered in a wayside marker on the Princes Highway where he first discovered the clover growing and on the Mt Barker Showground gates. The Howard Memorial Research Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science was established in 1967. One of the cultivars of subterranean clover is named Howard.
Amos Howard died at his residence Beauvale in 2 March 1930 and was buried in the Blakiston Cemetery.

Click to email Proformat Subscribe