W,H/Matures 13-17/Height 4-6'/Harvest 0-4/Yield grain 6-26, dry biomass 26-158/Spacing 12"
Days to Maturity figures are really just for comparing between varieties within a category. Actual days will vary from location to location, depending on garden conditions.
Very hardy, high-yielding ancient Andean staple. Quinoa is not a true grain (they are all grasses) but is related to spinach. Its seeds are much, much higher in protein than any cereal grain. Easy to process, as there is no hull. Many quinoas demand tropical daylengths or unusual conditions, but we have found easily-grown and delicious varieties. Several of them we have identified through Ellen Bartholomew's (of Golden Rule farm) comprehensive trials,
Drought-tolerant, requiring only 10-12" water for the season. Protect from fall rains once grains ripen--if necessary cut before rain and hang indoors to finish drying. There will be a lot of chaff to remove by winnowing, but it is all loose; there is nothing to detach from the grains. Gluten-free; usually cooked like rice. CAUTION: Quinoa seed has a natural soapy coating (saponin) that must be washed off before cooking or eating. (Instructions included with seed.) Use the rinse water as laundry soap.
BGE-1510 Amaranth and Quinoa information sheet. 2 pages.
This two-page handout gives a good basic description of quinoa cultural info, with some processing tips. $0.30
How do I choose? Gardeners in areas where nigths are warm in summer should start with Redhead . If you get summer rain, Temuko and Redhead are both adpated to moister climates. (Temuko is being grown in Ireland and Redhead in Oregon.) If your summer nights are below 68 or so, and you summers faily dry, you can grow any of our varieties. Pick the height, earliness, and color you prefer. Kaslala is multicolored and very rich/nutty/earthy tasting. Temuko and Biobio taste extremely mild, like rice. Most of the rest are golden in color, with medium-nutty flavors. We have arranged the varieties by height and earliness--smallest and earliest first. Generally speaking, the larger, later varities are the highest yielding. They also give lots of compost material. Note: days to maturity are with cold nights (nights averaging 50-58 all summer). Your may be less.