GRAINS - QUINOA Chenopodium quinoa. A high protein grain from the Andean highllands where it has been a major food crop for over 5,000 years. Noted for high lysine content, drought tolerance and a quick cooking grain. Early in the season harvest spinach tasting greens for salads and stir fry. Later the grain heads form yielding the wonderful and nutritious quinoa.

We quote Frank Morton who has developed this variety and with his wife Karen, is owner of Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath OR. “Our best success with quinoa "grain" comes with planting from mid-April through May. Direct seed into 24" rows. Thin to 3-4" apart in the row to produce single-headed plants that mature uniformly for harvesting in a single pass. Maximum seed yield comes from 12" or greater in-row spacing that makes a branched crop. This may require an initial harvest of primary heads, followed in another 7-14 days with a final harvest of whole plants. Harvest when seedheads are still brightly colored, and thresh with a rubbing action of the head (by hand or feet, or belt thresher). Grain is easy to clean with 1/8" and 1/16" hardware mesh, and careful winnowing.”

 

Quinoa is one of our favorite plants to grow. Not only does it yield a delicious high protein grain but the plants are beautiful in additions to the garden. The United Nations is calling 2013 the year of quinoa to bring world wide attention to this native of Peru. Remarkably easy to grow and prepare, and cooks quickly. I always give the grains a five minute soaking followed by a quick rinse for a pleasant sweet flavor. Quinoa makes a dynamite tabooli salad for the gluten intolerant. We are pleased to now offer the golden Oro de Valle selection along with the Cherry Vanilla (VGR631) and Red Head (VGR655)  

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