Why plant quinoa seeds ?
The staple diet of the Inca quinoa is healthy, trendy & very easy to grow.
- Tastes like couscous, nutty & slightly hop-like.
- Just 10 plants produce up to 0.5kg (1lb) of grain!
Like Maize (sweetcorn) quinoa is one of the most productive plants you can grow on any allotment.
If you want to know how to grow quinoa (and why) then a key advantage is that you can not only use the seeds like a high-protein grain (with a great taste) but you can also eat the leaves, like a type of spinach.
Great for any allotment or vegetable garden
Unlike wheat, oats or barley, quinoa’s ultra high yielding habit makes it one of only two grains (along with maize) that you don’t need acres of land to produce a worthwhile harvest on – offering up to an astonishing pound of grain from just 10 plants!
The plants will grow virtually anywhere and are extremely easy to grow.
A key advantage in how to grow quinoa is that you can either grow them straight outside – or it’s easier to start them inside (in small pots, similar to tomatoes) and then replant them outside.
Especially if you use a heat mat (like the one on the right) you will get even faster results.
The advantage of doing it that way is simply because it’s easier to keep them apart from weeds !
2 crops for the price of 1
Once you’ve sown the quinoa seeds and grown them, there are 2 elements to the Quinoa you can harvest and use.
1. Quinoa Leaves..
They only taste great when they are ‘young & fresh’ i.e. harvest them early in the season as the plants are growing and simply used them in the same way as baby spinach leaves (steam them or add them to a salad)
2. The Quinoa Seeds
In early autumn (September/October) they will be ready to harvest when the leaves start dropping off and the flower heads start changing colour. You will know when they are ready if a few seeds come out easily when you rub them. Don’t leave them to long when they are ready as they will start sprouting again.
Simply cut of the pods with quinoa seeds (with secateurs) and leave them to dry, somewhere cool, for about a week. And then simply ‘shake or rub’ loose the seeds (do wear gloves)
Then simply tips the seeds (outside on a breeze day) from one bowl to another to get rid of the chaff. Maybe trying to copy some of the dance moves at the same time…