Garden Organic Trial
"Quinoa as a staple?" is one of this years trials we have been asked to run by a garden organic member. Quinoa is an ancient grain crop growing up to 2 metres high. It contains a full complement of protiens making it very nutritious.
It has tiny seed which has been planted 4 or 5 at 30cm spacing with 40cm between rows.
Two varieties have been provided, Temuco and Rainbow, which will be grown on two separate sites. this is because quinoa is wind pollinated and would cross pollinate if grown next to each other, making the seed produced a hybrid of the two varieties.Not a problem if we just wanted to produce a grain crop, but if we want to keep the seed to sow again next year the varieties need seporating by at least 1000m to assure a clean crop.
The Quinoa was easy to grow and gave good yields however was difficult to seporate the seed from the chaff.
In terms of eating, the saporins which coat the seed were very difficult to remove and alot of water was used washing and soaking the seed to removed its bitter coating. After this was done the quinoa was good to eat.
We don't think we will grow it again until we have discovered a good way to remove the bitter coating.
We have discovered that warm water and rubbing is the best way to remove the saponins. A further trial crop is planned for 2012.