Last February I introduced quinoa as one of our potential one block crops and explained what goes wrong when planted at the wrong time of year.

We've tried again, this time sowing the seeds in April, and the results are much more successful.

Here is what the plants looked like about a month ago:

And here are a couple of shots from today:

Here are answers to the most commonly posed questions by visitors:

1. What is that?

As I wrote in February, Quinoa is a staple to Andean cultures. It is grown mostly for its edible seed (not agrain, as it is often mistaken, because it is not from a grass) thoughthe leaves are also edible. It is a completeamino acid and is unusually high in protein for a seed.

Here is a link to Sunset recipes with quinoa.2. I never knew you could grow this in your garden. Is it a good idea?

You can absolutely grow your own quinoa. I recommend Faro, a variety bred for sea level.  It's probably not the most realistic endeavor since our entire bed (4ft. by 8ft.) will likely yield a serving or two (and some say I'm being optimistic). We're doing it for fun. Many of us are of the mindset that it's exciting to grow anything once, even if it's not the most logical use of space. It's the same reason we're growing our own chick peas.

3. Why is that bed of lamb's quarters being allowed to go to seed?

Great question! Quinoa resembles lamb's quarters (or pigweed) because they are in the same Genus, Chenopodium. Lamb's quarters can also be used for their edible leaves, but if you're like me, all you've ever done is weed it.

4. How will you harvest it?

Having never done this before, I'll follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet: Cut mature seed heads after frost, and dry in an undisturbed place. Thresh when completely dry. Rinse well before cooking. Store seeds in cool, dry, dark conditions.

I've always wanted to thresh something....

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