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Quinoa as a companion plant

 
Posts: 35
Location: Cusco, Peru
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I've noticed that the local farmers have planted a small quantity of quinoa along with their fields of corn and I was wondering what the benefit of this could be? The farmers who have planted it haven't been present to ask unfortunately, if I did they may not know why as traditional knowledge here has been reduced to lore. It may be they simply plant it as an additional crop although the quantities planted are so minimal I can't imagine they would get any significant quantity.

Any ideas?
 
pollinator
Posts: 684
Location: Richmond, Utah
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Well, I can't speak for your local farmers, but I grow Quinoa between trees in my orchard and between the orchard and the north side of the garden. The birds seem to prefer Quinoa to anything else, so the corn is safe if there's Quinoa around, plus they provide mulch and a great windbreak. Quinoa grows to 8 feet with no help, but we never seem to harvest it before the birds do.
 
Matt Tebbit
Posts: 35
Location: Cusco, Peru
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That's interesting, Quinoa must grow differently at altitude, I've never seen it more than a few feet tall. I thought birds weren't supposed to like Quinoa as it had a bitter coating that had to be washed off before it could be eaten. Thanks for the info.
 
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