On the eternal search for an easy life, my latest investigations are on ground cover solutions for various different areas of our plot. I'm looking for things that need no (or very little) maintenance and that look good, are useful in some way and will stop the ever increasing onslaught of weeds from taking over!
One option is Dutch Clover ('white clover' - Trifolium repens). This is nitrogen fixing, can make a thick mat, is edible and grows quickly. The short film below shows someone's experience using this like a lawn in the US:
Dutch clover will attract beneficial insects and is said to be useful in lots of different situations.
As ground cover, it can be used as a grass alternative for lawns and pathways and although it grows pretty low to the ground, it will cope with light mowing if you want it to be even lower.
It makes a good fodder crop and is edible for people too. As we're intending to get chickens at some point, this is likely to come in handy in reducing the need for bought feed.
Nitrogen fixing ability - I'm guessing this should be particularly useful anywhere where we're growing leafy veg or salad crops as leaves are what nitrogen is good for encouraging. Not too sure how it will get on with fruiting or flowering crops - am I going to get stunted flowers and tiny fruits cos all the energy is going into growing leaves? I think further investigations are needed here.