Thread: Quinoa
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Old 28-09-2007, 12:23 AM posted to
John Ashby John Ashby is offline
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Default Quinoa

nzlstar* wrote:

sorry bout the long time for reply...

i'm in auckland, fwiw, up north at sea level between two natural
harbours, doesnt get too cold or too hot here.
tho we pretty much grown anything here.
quinoa is native to south america, in the andes of peru, iirc.
those conditions are cooooold at night and warm in the day, during the
growing season anyhow.
i'd think they'd grow most anywhere after that.

Indeed. I shouldn't think you'd have too much trouble in the City of

why does the coating have to be removed to plant the seeds?
that wouldn't happen in nature.

Ah, I wasn't clear enough. It's not to plant them but to eat them. The
seeds come wrapped in dried up plant matter (the remains of the petals,
I imagine) which has a bitter, soapy taste. You need to get rid of as
much of it as you possibly can to get to the bit you actually want to
eat, just as wheat grains need to be winnowed from their surrounding
hard coats.

i wonder why someone isnt growing it in our south island.

Yes, somewhere on the eastern slopes of the Southern Alps might work.
It's likely one of those supply and demand problems, until there's
enough demand it's not worth creating the supply, without the supply
demand won't build.

hmmmm, maybe i should try a few seeds in a pot on the deck and see
what happens.

You'll need to plant out the seedlings to about 60cm spacing if they're
going into open ground, or you could try growing them on in large pots.

oh, what about eating the leaves.
does this keep it from setting seeds?

I've never tried it, I imagine the leaves are also bitter. On the other
hand Fat Hen leaves are edible, so it might be worth a try. You won't
get the protein advantage you mentioned in your original post, though.

can you eat the leaves as they grow on the plant and it will keep
growing? sorry to sound dumb but this is a new food to me.

If you grow enough plants you can try that with some and see what effect
it has. That's the joy of gardening, you can experiment (though not too
much, don't try belladonna pie).

i've grown other vegetables but not sure how this one behaves at all.
cheers from a lovely warm sunny spring day in the south pacific,

Grrrrr. Actually, the autumn is not too bad here as yet, but that just
means there's no excuse not to be out digging.