I grew some quinoa this year in a 4 by 4 plot. I had about 15 to 20 plants in there. I just threw out some organic quinoa i bought at the store. I got one stunning purple quinoa the rest green. One turned purple after flowering. The plants got too much rain and all fell over. Then in the fall we got a lot more rain and many of the seeds actually sprouted on the plant. This I hear is pretty common. I got a pretty good harvest, but I don't have the equipment yet to winnow out the seeds and clean them. It is quite a bit of work. I tried to let the wind blow some stuff away, but it is hard. They grew to about 3 feet.
I just tried planting some of the purple quinoa seeds I harvested and they are viable, so I plan on only growing these next year, and maybe some day I will be able to harvest it.
I definitely eat the leafs though.
I would recommend starting seeds early, they need a long time to grow, soil with REALLY good drainage, no competition. They are VERY drought hardy.
If you look closely when the plants are young they are covered in crystals, not dissimilar to thc, it is a very beautiful plant.
I had several Quinoa plants volunteer by my front stairs, must have had a leaky bag. The one I noticed first, and protected with a stake, grew to 9 feet. No soil prep, packed soil, only a bit of water when it got really hot. The seed production was thick but as someone else has said, not so easy to thresh themout from the husks.
I spread some seed on all my freshly dug fall garden plots but a muley doe and her calf have found them (~ 4 inches high) and I doubt there will be many left by spring. I should find out if they overwinter though. I plan on sparsely broadcasting some in spring to add to the beneficial weed crop. I think the chickens will go for the seed production.
I've been reading into quinoa production and a lot of quinoa from Bolivia is commonly imported for grocery. Bolivian varieties usually need very long growing seasons, sometimes near 200 days. I've read planting these types can lead to low production outside of the high Andes and the climate there.
Most varieties that grow well elsewhere are from Chile and average around 115 days +/-. Some of these lines have been worked locally for awhile to try for better production. Some lines are supposed to resist seed sprouting while still in the field, lower elevations, local climate types, etc.
It may be worth looking into buying specific varieties, at least to start, as opposed to buying what comes from the grocery. Or at least trying for something locally produced, as opposed to imported from Bolivia. Saving seed from the best plants to re-plant next season seems to be the consensus with quinoa. Production should go up with subsequent plantings and selection.
I've tried 3 times this year to get some going , though the "organic" ones i have bought both red and white cross state lines, Every "food" in Australia gets radiation treatment and sterilizes the seeds...Once immersed in water they swell up and split then die , 100% non viable... Also with a lot of the literature i have seen all recommend not to consume too much of the leafy greens (for humans) because of a chemical produced that can reduce assimilation of some vitamins/minerals ... At the moment I have Amaranth growing that doesn't have the same problem and can eat the greens to your hearts content, My understanding of both Quinoa and Amaranth is that the seed heads are harvested by shaking the seeds out of the plant over several times during harvest rather than removing the seed heads completely as the seeds don't all ripen at the same time... Another problem with Quinoa is temperature, anything over 32 deg C (89.6 deg F) will sterilize the pollen vastly reducing yields .....
For anyone who hasn't come across Quinoa (Keen-wah) It is a rice substitute many many times better for you , i have 2 young children (5 and 2 year old) and i think they have had rice twice in their lives , All home-cooked "rice dishes" are Quinoa in my household , included are the "rice custard" desserts, it does look different on the plate but would be hard pressed to pick a flavor difference , My kids have it by choice and it cooks in 1/2 the time of rice but does require more prep due to the saponins that require removal by washing
Both of these pseudo-grains have too many good points to list and would encourage everyone to self study further into these foods that cant be dismissed
The chemical I believe you are referring to is oxalic acid.
It is actually found in amaranth in fairly high concentrations, and in most related plants; beet greens, chard, spinach, etc.
From what I know, it can inhibit the absorption of Ca and Fe. Oxalic acid binds with calcium and can form stones in the body. If this happens in the stomach/gut, the body doesn't absorb the oxalic acid. I've always heard to eat some dairy or other calcium source when eating plants high in oxalic acid so the stones will be formed in the gut and passed that way.
Agreed although wasn't the one i was in reference too , i believe it's pretty hard to get a toxic amount of Oxalic acid unless all you eat are brassica family ... i think it's something more akin to the silica's in nettles when they get closer to seeding, i'll re-find and re-link the literature when i have a chance... TY for your input though
Oh my bad and never mind me , the article i was reading was on problems concerning Linoleic acid conversions to Arachidonic acid in mammals, and aparently pretty rare , Quinoa was metioned as one of the better sources of Linoleic Acid.. and nice youtube , will look at it when the kids are sleeping greatly apreciated
Peace and Love Dave oxoxox
Our quinoa greens have gone from sweet and tender to bitter and tough. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
We had great success with a first planting of quinoa greens while the second batch came out bitter and tough. It's grown at 4,500 ft in Nevada.
Here are some factors that might influence the different outcomes 1stbatch/2nd batch:
environment: hoop house/outdoors
sunlight: some shade/direct
temperature: less fluctuation/freezes and frosts
origin: costco quinoa/harvested from 1st batch
flavor: sweet and tender/bitter and tough