Get to Know Quinoa
Cultural Notes : Quinoa is very easy to grow and can be planted in spring. It can be started in small pots in early spring or direct seeded 1/4 inch deep in later spring. It is a cool tolerant crop. Plants grow quickly and form blooming flower heads by early summer. It takes about one more month for the seed to mature. Be careful to keep the mature seed heads dry; if it rains at this stage, the seeds will sprout on the plant. Further drying under cover works just fine. If rain is in the forecast, cut off the top half of the plants and spread on screens, tarps or tables. Once the flower heads are completely dry, strip them off the stems into a large bucket, garbage can or clean wheelbarrow. The seeds separate by rubbing them together with your hands or over screens if you have larger amounts. To clean further, place in large plastic plant tray to winnow it . For larger amounts, add the seed to a short sided tray, such as a restaurant dish pan . Then use an electric hair dryer to blow away the chaff, holding it about 6 inches above the seeds. The heavier grain stays behind. Place the seed back in a solid tray in a warm protected spot to dry further. For long term storage, glass jars work best.