• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Purple Amaranth

 
                    
Posts: 0
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey all -  Anyone have experience with a simple, efficient way to cull seeds from purple amaranth heads?  Thanks!
 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know if purple amaranth is any different than Orange Amaranth, but I just hung mine up in the garage, stretched an old sheet out underneath it. I dried it for about a week, then beat the tar out of it with a stick (quite a bit of seed fell out).

What was left I took and rubbed between my hands (wear gloves) intil it pretty well disintegrated  and ran that through a window screen to take out the big chaff.

Then, i took what was left and shook it lightly so that the blooms and light chaff rose to the top and blew off as much as i could.

I repeated that process until it was pretty clean. It's not easy to thresh or winnow by hand, so I think I'm going to try and build something to make the process easier.

Hope that helps you somewhat.
 
                                      
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just grew my 1st amaranth plants this year, thanks for the timely post
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
wondering if anyone would be willing to spare a tablespoon full of seed for a newcomer to amaranth to plant next year? I've wanted to try it for a while
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda, I live close to bakerCreek seeds and can get you a package easily.  They have several kinds so look over their site www.rareseeds.com I think and let me know which you would like.  http://rareseeds.com/seeds/Amaranth
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
oh thanks, i can go there and buy my own i guess..appreciate the site.
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In another thread someone mentioned that you can buy amaranth seed at the health food store and grow it.  The elephant head was spectacular and came up the following year for us too. 

I have so much out where my wild horses run that I want to bring here.  There is an asian pear that was to die for.  I need to check and see if I can graft it onto wild pear rootstock.  Oh, and the yellow berries, they were the best I have ever tasted.  That place is a longish drive but not too long for what I hope to bring home when the time is right.  When would be the best time to get berry cuttings?  Will berrys grow from cuttings?
 
Leah Sattler
Posts: 2603
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think technically anything has the potential to be grown from cuttings but some things are easier than others. things like black berries are easy. just bury the tips for a while then dig them up. cuttings from bush like berries might be a little harder but still possible.

I love love love asian pears. we had one in our backyard when I was a kid and it produced gobs of pears without doing a thing to it. the ones from the store are so mushy and gross they aren't worth eating usually. 
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What I am after out there are yellow raspberries, so bury a tip and then dig it up later, right?  When do I bury and when do I dig?  It is a tank of gas each trip so I need to go as seldom as I can.  Do I bury the tip in a pot of soil?  Do I notch it or anything? 

The place is kinda cool though.  It is like an abandoned commune with old orchards and berries and such.  Several years ago I rescued some feral horses and turned them out there too.  Though the same people own it all this time differant people live there from time to time and I have no idea who is there now.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jennifer, you don't need to bury just the tip if there is a cane that can be totally laid down..lay it down..if you want to easily dig it..pile some mulch under and over it..it will root at every node..in the early spring dig up each new plant..

i had a black raspberry plant fall over in the winter and in spring it rooted about 8 or 9 plants along the length of it..

i'm sure you can do that with any brambles..can't hurt to try..i'd lay down one plant for each 5 or 6 plants you want to have babies of to dig up.

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Pie
Posts: 19824
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If the long term mission is chicken feed, then what about throwing the whole heads out to the chickens?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
paul wheaton wrote:
If the long term mission is chicken feed, then what about throwing the whole heads out to the chickens?




For simplicity and efficiency, you can't beat mu.
 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Mu?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jennifer Hall wrote:
Mu?


It's the best answer to questions like "what's the most efficient way to drive a car?" or "Coke or Pepsi?" or most of the questions a stereotypical drill instructor would ask.  One translation is "the answer lies outside the context framed by the question/assertion/statement".

It's borrowed from Japanese, and comes into English largely through students of Zen Buddhism.  In the original language I think it means something like "null."  It came up over on the Fukuoka thread, but I like the passage of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on it.  Here's Robert Pirsig:

For example, it's stated over and over again that computer circuits exhibit only two states, a voltage for "one" and a voltage for "zero". That's silly! Any computer-electronics technician knows otherwise. Try to find a voltage representing one or zero when the power is off! The circuits are in a mu-state.

 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I knew when I asked the question that the answer would make me look stupid... but I asked it anyway.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
?

I don't think that question made you look stupid.

At any rate, I'm glad you asked.  It prompted me to look up some things I was on the edge of forgetting!
 
Irene Kightley
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 382
Location: South West France
24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our chickens love Amaranthus - I just pull up a plant from time to time and they totally strip each one. Our birds are totally free range and it stops them stripping other plants at this time of the year after a hot summer and very little grass.

This is them with Gangeticus (Elephant Head Amaranthus)



 
Jennifer Smith
Posts: 714
Location: Zone 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lovely photo Irene, and nice blog, thanks for sharing!
 
                    
Posts: 106
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
fall was so wet here that I could not harvest my amaranth.  At present I just let my chickens take care of it.

to thresh things like that, just get a big piece of cardboard that refrigerators and the like come in,  like from Lowes.    Lay down the seedheads, put on some flat soled boots or shoes and shuffle around on the seedheads.  You can also put them in a big pillow case and beat it against a tree.
 
                                  
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Brenda,

I simply went to the local health food store and bought a pound for about $5 (Whole Foods in Dallas has it in bulk for $2 per pound) and planted about a 1000 sq foot of raised beds in with my field corn.  The amaranth has deep roots that help to pull up nutrients and I thought it would help the corn.  As it turned out the wild hogs harvest 4lbs of seed corn (twice) before it could sprout.  On the other hand I think every seed of the amaranth came up and we have eaten and frozen the leaves.  It is better than spinach and reportedly supplies over 75% of the nutrients a human body needs (great obama crop.)  Look up the Greek recipe for veleeta, its great.  The deer and hogs don't seem to bother the amaranth and it seems quite drought resistant.  The seed heads are so heavy they are starting to pull the plants down.  I would guess I easily have a couple hundred pounds of seeds from about a 1/4 lb planted.

Best way to harvest is not to hang up in the garage.  You get too much chaff.  Simply take an old pillow sack and lean the head into it and pull it off, then clean it.  The time to harvest is after the first frost and watch the birds.  When they start attacking the grain you need to do the same.  By the way I did butcher 6 corn fed hogs. 
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
thanks for the info texasland01.

i had a similar situation. i broadcasted seed from the bulk bins and ended up with hundreds of plants, probably more. I ate the thinning's. the amaranth grows unbelievably fast, i planted in the last week of June and they are already approaching 5 ft.

thanks for the tips on harvest. never used a pillow before.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic