BRILLIANT RAINBOW QUINOA (Chenopodium quinoa) is an ancient heirloom grain that is unique in that it produces cereal grain but not in a grass form. In fact, the young greens are edible as well as the seed. A principle crop for the Incas, who believed it sacred and called it "chisaya mama" or "mother of all grains." Very nutritious with a high protein value (up to 18%) that is fairly complete, making it a great choice for vegetarians and vegans. High in fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron, it is also gluten-free and very digestible. Use as an alternative to white rice or coucous. Home-grown quinoa does require soak/rinse/soak/rinse preparation before cooking to remove bitter saponins that coat each grain. Grows 4'-5' and produces colorful seed heads in late summer to fall. 90-120 days. 100 seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Although very similar to Amaranth, Quinoa is a cool weather crop, whereas Amaranth is a warm weather crop. Sow seeds in spring as soon as ground can be worked and protect from birds with row covers. Seed should be planted 1/4" deep in rows 12" apart. When the clusters form you will once again want to provide protection from birds in the form of a scarecrow or other device. If growing as an preserved ornamental, cut stalks at ground level when head color is good and tie in bundles and hang upside down to dry.