Does anyone here have any experience with quinoa? I'm thinking of trying it this year.
I've grown it before and never will again. It is an excellent grain food, very nutritious but like any grain it is a magnet for birds--they just LOVE its seeds. And then they poop them out all over the beds and voila! You've got quinoa coming up like the weed it is. Quinoa is Lamb's Quarters on steroids. And, as it is from the Andes, it is quite an excellent reseeder. So, grow and gather its seed as it is so nutritious--truly an ancient power food--but its seeds are also gathered and well redistributed by birds and that is its only drawback.
Thanks for the info. I was worried that it might not thrive in the mid-Atlantic heat and humidity. I think I'll try it. I may regret it, but live and learn, right?
I experimented with a few quinoa plants in my garden in Milwaukee (5B, 630 ft above sea level) and they seem to be budding pretty well. No problem with birds, did have to pull a few early in the season because of aphids.
I started them indoors in late March/early April and they germintated very fast. Transplanted a row in the raised garden (those got eaten by aphids) and a few in various planters in the yard. They are probably ready to be harvested any day now.
Has anyone heirloomed quinoa seeds? Should they be frozen over winter? I want to try to grow my harvest next spring.
quinoa burger---a goodluck charm used in tailgating over the grill.
Only two of mine made it through transplanting and one went down in the first storm. Then the pumpkins, planted outside the fence, invaded and wiped out that outer row inside the garden so no quinoa this year. Maybe I'll try again next year -- I still have seeds left.
Niivek, let us know how the harvest goes. I've heard quinoa requires lots of washing to get the sticky residue off the seeds. One thing I read even suggested putting them in a fine mesh bag and running them through the washing machine.
I harvested the quinoa by hand in late September. Wound up with about a cup full of seeds (maybe enough for two meals.) I saved them all, or gave a few away for others to try growing next year. Just moved to a small farmish area and plan to direct sow several 100 foot long rows of the stuff in the spring with what I harvested this fall.
From what I observed, quinoa sprouts very fast (about a week from planting indoors.) They slow down a bit after getting their first leaves, then seem to speed up again later in summer. I found out by accident that it might be a good idea to clip the tops off before they get too tall. They will split and form buds on each stalk.
The lower leaves start to die off as the plant matures. I think they are ready to harvest when a good amount of the leaves have died off. If you shake a bud into your hand, and seeds fall out, it is ready to harvest.
The internet told me that they can cross pollinate with goosefoot and may or may not change the seeds. I didnÃ¢ÂÂt see any goosefoot growing near where I plan to grow next year, so hopefully shouldnÃ¢ÂÂt have to worry about that.
These are the professional observations of an office puke who knows nothing about agriculture.
Thanks, niivek. Glad you got something from it.