Saturday, April 17, 2010

sowing quinoa

image source: This year, as I've enlarged the garden space, I'm planting some crops that grow relatively large: 5 foot tall King Tut pea;, Quinoa, which can grow between 3 - 10 feet; and Stevenson's Blue -Eyed beans. Interspersed amongst the peas and beans will be soybeans, squashes (which take up a lot of room as they spread),a corner for burdock root, and a few poppies which I'm growing for seeds. In the older garden space, with its finer soil, go the lettuces, tomatoes, beets, carrots, spinach, chard, turnips, radishes, brassicas, etc. this is the first time I've grown Quinoa( Chenopodium) As a chenopod, quinoa is closely related to species such as beets, spinach and tumbleweeds.Quinoa originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for 6,000 years. Its name is the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name. Last year I tried growing a row of Amaranth - which produced gorgeous crimson tassels, but acted mainly as an aphid magnet - which is fine, the rest of the garden got a break! But the grains produced were minimal. I'd grow it again just for the colour, and for their edible green leaves. I'm starting the quinoa in seed flats, will transfer to larger pots, harden off, then they'll go out into the garden later in May/June when it's warmer - they love lots of heat. The new garden has heavy soil, but I'll amend it with compost first.Optimum soil is a well-drained loam but quinoa will do well in all but poorly aerated clay soils. they don't like to be too wet: given good soil moisture, they don't need water until the plants reach the two- or three-leaf stage. This blogger's account of their quinoa growing experience is interesting, especially the harvesting technique: quinoa has a saponin coating on its seeds (to protect it from birds and insects, which must be removed before eating. I has to be soaked for 3 days prior to cooking. image source:

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post. Thx for the info and links. I'm growing Quinoa (and Amaranth) this year. Can't wait to see how it does. Good luck with yours !