Quinoa well under way

hoodat

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My Quinoa is up and about 5 feet tall. It is just beginning to head up and will probably be around 6 feet when it sets seed. Quinoa prefers to be planted in cool soil so planting time is just getting here for most of the country. It should be about the earliest seed you plant. I sow mine right in the ground but it transplants easily so you can use starter pots but remember to keep them in an unheated place. Quinoa seed doesn't like warm soil.
Anyone needing seed just PM me with your address.
 
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buckabucka

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What kind of climate does quinoa require? How do you harvest it? I eat quinoa, but I've never considered growing it.
Our soil is so cool that it is currently frozen under 4 feet of snow! This is an unusually harsh winter though.
 

hoodat

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The seed is fussy about a cool temperature but IMHO the plants aren't. They accept a wide range of temperature from cool to really hot. Of course they do best in a fertile moist soil but will tolerate poor soil so long as it drains well. They are also drought tolerant. If lambs quarter does well there so will quinoa, which is just a cultivated form of that weed.
 

NwMtGardener

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I'm glad you posted this, Hoodat. The seed i put out in the fall (because the seed pack said i should) has not sprouted. I think i'll start some inside!
 

skeeter9

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That quinoa looks beautiful, Hoodat. Very healthy and happy. How much do you expect to get when you harvest?
 

hoodat

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How do you harvest it? Do you then dry it?
I harvest it when the leaves are compltely dry and then let it finish drying in a plastic tub. Besides the main head there are many side shoots with seed.
Beat the heads with a stick to make the seed fall into the tub. There will be a lot of chaff. I've collected collanders with various sized holes. Starting with the one with the largest holes I shake and rub it till most of the seed has passed through. That gets out the stems and coarse stuff. Using the medium collander with holes just large enough to let the seeds pass through I do the same thing, seperating out the outer hulls. Finally I put it in the fine strainer and get as much of the dusty chaff off as possible. I suppose you could also winnow it in a winnowing basket by tossing it into the air and catching it when there is a light wind blowing as the Asians do with rice. You can find winnowing baskets in many stores and thrift shops where they are sold as decorations. Insects don't seem to bother it in storage because of the soapy coating on the seed. This coating has to be washed off, which will take soaking in several waters. Some baking soda in the water helps get the soap of. If you don't it will have a bitter taste. The seed begins to open as soon as you wash it so don't do it until right before cooking.
 
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buckabucka

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The harvesting information is good to know. I wonder if you could blow a fan on it as you slowly dump seed from one bowl to another, or is the seed so light it would blow all over the place?
 
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