- AMARANTH (Amaranthus sp.)
- A traditional food, ornamental and dye plant. It is a domesticated variety of pigweed and a native American crop. The plants are sturdy, generally growing from 4′-8′ tall. The large leaves are green or red and the seed heads are red, yellow, brown or multicoloured. The grain varieties are grown for their heavy yield of small blond seeds which are rich in protein (16-18%). They also complement corn and wheat to make a complete protein. Sow them after danger of frost is past. When the plants have dried after a heavy frost in the fall, cut the seed heads, thresh and winnow. The seeds can be popped, sprouted, milled into flour or cooked whole. The young and tender leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
- +AMARANTH R158-Developed by Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Rodale Research Centre. The leaves and seed heads are mostly red. It is early and heavy yielding.
- +LOVE LIES BLEEDING-Grows long draping red flower. Beautiful as a cut or dried flower. Cut flowers at peak of bloom or pick seed heads just before frost.
- +RED PERILLA-This beautiful red flame of colour is ornamental and purposeful. The leaves, stalk and flowers are red and used as a natural colourant in Japanese cooking (umeboshi paste). Seeds are tiny, shiny and black. Grows about 1 1/2′ tall. Plant amongst your flower beds or in your garden.These are not the red shiso plants with the unique “cumin-like” flavor, but can be used to dye foods.
QUINOA (Chenopodium quinoa)-Brightest Brilliant Rainbow-Annual blooms late summer to fall. Plant in full sun. Plant after last frost. Refrigerating seeds for 1-2 weeks may increase germination. Thin to 12”-18” apart. The staple food of the Incas, quinoa is grown for its seeds but can also be harvested young for its greens. It is a domesticated variety of lamb’s quarters, growing 4′-8′ tall, so be careful not to weed them out. The seeds and seed heads vary greatly in colour. The seeds are higher in protein than cereal grains and somewhat resemble millet and sesame seeds. The seeds are covered with a bitter tasting saponin which is removed by rinsing in cold water. Cook the seeds whole (cooking time about 20 minutes) or grind into flour. Quinoa produces a heavy yield of seeds, resists frost and drought well, and tolerates poor soil.
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