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Ontario quinoa experiment

 
Donna Lockey
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario Canada
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I picked up some West Coast Seed quiona in Feb and grew about 8 plants in the desired space. Plants did well. Grew about 4 feet tall. Picked Sept 6, 2015.
The animals left it alone, but a teeny tiny caterpillar loves it. Looks like cabbage moth, but smaller. I did not spray it with any pesticides (BTK is my usual) and figured that quiona is high in protein because it has 'extras'.

I picked it, dried it, threshed it and winnowed it. But it does not look 'clean' with off colours like grey. So I washed some of it in a sieve and have spread it out on a sheet in my dehydrator. Im going to risk it sprouting over icky quiona. It certainly looks better than the unwashed.

I have attached before washing and after. After dicking about with this for 4 hours. Is it really worth it to I grow a larger quantity. Does anyone in Onterrible have some suggestions why it was grey? I have read that there are saponins on quiona. Does dirt stick to this and how can you get that nice clean golden colour?
quiona in dehydrator.jpg
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Washed in a seive and drying in the dehydrator
grey bits in quiona.jpg
[Thumbnail for grey bits in quiona.jpg]
Why does it have grey ones?
impressive quiona patch.jpg
[Thumbnail for impressive quiona patch.jpg]
My impressive quiona patch. :P
 
Roy Hinkley
Posts: 230
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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I don't have any answers for you but if you're anywhere near Damascus I saw a field of it just south of the town. They might have some expertise.
 
Donna Lockey
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario Canada
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Thanks, Roy. Hmm. A bit far to go for me and no clue who owns the field.

On an update. The dehydrator dried it quite nicely. It still feels a bit sticky and slightly bitter. Maybe more rinsing is needed. There is still grey ones in there.

More experimentation.
 
Jan Cooper
Posts: 63
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bee forest garden goat
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Let us know if you find out more about growing it and why the grey ones. I've wanted to grow it, but I'd like more info before I try it.
 
Donna Lockey
Posts: 11
Location: Ontario Canada
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I think either its frass from the caterpillars or its still chaff. Either way I threw it in the freezer in a jar. And it will get lots of washing. Haven't cooked any yet. Been too busy canning and eating fresh corn!

Growing it was easy. I planted in seed trays then transplanted late May. I nibbled on the greenery once and awhile for a salad. Slightly spicey but nice. It does look a lot like lamb's quarters, which is also an edible green.

Im going to grow it again next year in pots, so when its near harvest, I will skoot it under my west facing front porch to keep the foliage and seed heads dryer. I use a dolly to haul big pots about. Give it a go, if you love quiona. Nothing to lose but time.

Amaranth next year!
 
John Weiland
Posts: 766
Location: RRV of da Nort
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@Donna---I'm a bit late to the game on this one. You've probably already seen this link from Ontario Ag resources: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/CropOp/en/field_grain/spec_grains/quin.html

I'm going to propose the possibility that your grey quinoa seeds may have a pathogen seed blight. This type of disease can cause discoloration and quality issues while still producing semi-plump seed. If it is a disease of this type, hard to decide how one might combat the problem in Ontario with the relatively high humidity as compared to drier, high-altitude climes where quinoa normally is grown. You may wish to consult with a group, I think at BYU in Provo, UT that was working on quinoa and relatives and possibly how to grow it as a flat-lander crop. Good luck!
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
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