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- Amaranth family
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Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for Amaranthaceae:
|ID||common name||family||latin name||date||quantity||action||days to germ||propagation||days to maturity||habitat||sun||drainage||soil||inventory||notes||nutrients||needs||use|
|103||Amaranth, Golden Giant||Amaranthaceae||Amaranthus hypochondriacus (dg fo pf wp)||Direct seed in the spring garden and thin to about 1 foot apart. We tested the yield of our (Horizon Herbs Select) cultivar and registered one pound of finished seed per 10 row feet (about 10 plants). Seed - sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.||100||Plant prefers full sun and regular garden soil. If you can grow pigweed in your garden, then you can grow this amaranth (they are related).
This is one of the easiest grains for home gardeners to grow and eat. At this point we may be looking at an interesting diversion from our standard diet -- in a few years we may be relying on it heavily. At my house we already rely on it heavily. It is time to walk the garden, and make Captain Crunch walk the plank!
Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Tolerates a pH in the range 5.2 to 7.5. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Often cultivated, especially in tropical areas, for its edible leaves and seeds, there are many named varieties. This is the most robust and highest yielding of the grain amaranths, though it is late maturing and therefore less suitable for northern areas.Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the 'C4 carbon-fixation pathway', this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions.
|full sun||garden||200 each||Annual native to South America. This is one of the earliest of all crops. As a young archaeologist, I excavated charred Amaranth seeds at the Koster site dating back to the new world paleolithic. This plant is still easy and worthwhile to grow and makes huge plumes of golden flowers on plants to 8 feet tall. Golden Amaranth produces the superior type of seed for food use -- light colored, loaded with nutrients, incomparably tasty.
Harvest: Wait until the seed is completely mature in the seedhead -- rub the head between your hands and if mature seed falls out, then its done. If not, then let it mature some more -- it won't hurt a thing! Harvest in the afternoon of a bright and sunny day (see harvest pictures, attached). Lay the seedheads out in the sun on tarps to dry, turning regularly and covering to disallow morning dew. Or, lay the seedheads out on racks in the dry shade or in an unused solar greenhouse. Once thoroughly dry, beat the heads with flails made of green willow or rub the heads through a 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Then, wind winnow on a sheet, allowing the chaff to blow away, and keeping the grain behind. If you have seed cleaning screens then the job will be easier and faster. Once the seed is clean, store it in jars in the kitchen.
It will last many years (if you don't eat it faster than that, that is.) I use 1/2 cup per person for breakfast, simmered in five times as much water. In other words, a standard breakfast for 2 people would be one cup of grain to 5 cups of water. Bring rapidly to a boil, then set to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed by the grain and the cooking gruel reaches the "pukka-pukka" stage where the bubbles burst out of the thickened gruel with a popping sound. Then, turn off the heat and cover for about 10 minutes. Then eat naked, or embellished by milks, raisins or other dried fruits.P.S. If you make this your breakfast cereal you will find that, after a couple of days, your (ahem) stool becomes very large and well formed. This is reason for rejoicing, not only because it feels great on expulsion, but because toxins are being moved out of your system, and as a cosequence you will probably not suffer from colon cancer.
|Carbohydrate, Protein||Astringent, Dye, Food|
|243||Amaranth, Mix||Amaranthaceae||Amaranthus hypochondriacus (dg fo pf wp)||Seed - sow April in situ. The seed can either be sown broadcast or in rows about 25cm apart, thinning the plants to about every 10cm. Germination is rapid, even in fairly dry conditions. Be careful not to weed out the seedlings because they look very similar to some common garden weeds[K].||Cultivated Beds;||full sun||well drained||garden||0 each||Protein||Astringent, Dye, Food|
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- are sensitive to a particular nutrient
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- supplies a particular nutrient (dynamic accumulator)
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