Author Topic: Amaranth questions/discussion  (Read 18589 times)

Offline archer

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2009, 02:49:31 PM »
this is what my slugs and snails drink.

Oh what an ugly death!!!

Offline FreeSpirit

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2009, 07:01:45 PM »
I found the beer trap to be fun and slightly effective. I am having better luck with the meat eating snail.

A Mediterranean snail, the decollate snail, Rumina decollata (Linnaeus), is popular right now in California as an effective biological control agent of the brown garden snail and slugs.

My strategy is to get them drunk and then get them eaten! ;) ;D

Offline mash

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2009, 09:29:22 PM »
My strategy is to get them drunk and then get them eaten! ;) ;D

haw haw! +1 FreeSpirit!

Offline CFG

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2009, 07:50:09 PM »
Harvested my burgundy amaranth today.  I'm letting it dry out some more b/c the grains wouldn't easily separate from the chaff.  Looks like this might be a lot of work for a small yield.

Lol, I just noticed this thread had been hijacked by a can of Busch.

Offline patrat

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2009, 01:34:54 PM »
I am growing a few stalks of garnet red amaranth. Not mature yet, but getting big. The romano beans love to climb it too!

The leaves are supposed to be edible, but I found that nibbling a leaf caused my throat to burn for a few hours.

Offline archer

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2009, 04:25:51 PM »
How tall did your plants get? I think I planted mine to close and did not thin them enough. They only grew about 12".

Offline deaconblue22

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2009, 07:58:57 PM »
Alright, I have a couple questions: 1. What is the best variety for seed production?  I am really interested in making flour and popping it.  2.  How early can you plant it and how fast does it grow?  Also, is it tall enough to use it as a sun screen for the East side of my square foot garden as right now the S.F.G gets just a little too much sun. 

Offline CFG

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #37 on: September 07, 2009, 03:36:48 PM »
My tallest ones were 6ft or a little more on the burgundy.  The others got eaten by armyworms and didn't make it past 5.  They haven't really flowered yet either.  I took pictures.  One of these years I'll actually get around to posting them.

Offline Leucaena

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2009, 02:04:11 PM »
I just found this thread, but I've had my grain amaranth growing since May 11 and I'm going to harvest it as soon as it dries off after the last few rainy days.  I have harvested 4 medium-sized seed heads already and got 2 oz of seed out of them (90 calorie yield!).

I tried two varieties from Baker Creek this year, Greek Giant and Orange Giant. Planted in early May, now about 120 days old. I planted both varieties in two locations. They grew amazingly fast for the first 4-6 weeks, then it seems they started putting on more stalk girth and less height and leaves. The flowers emerged at about 70 days, starting very small and they're still getting bigger. Orange Giant is a little taller, ~6-7' vs ~5-6', and was much more vigorous as seedlings, but Greek Giant has much larger seed heads and will probably make more grain. In fact, most of the seed heads for Orange Giant seem distorted or undeveloped.

Both varieties have had about 1/4 to 1/3 of the plants collapse to do some sort of stalk rot that happens right at the soil line. Other than that, they're pretty hardy.  Oh... they are leaning over about 30 degress up from ground level at this point after some rains and wind.  They would like a less windy location it seems.

I'm interested in using it as a green manure after seeing their first 2 months of growth.

Also just recently I finally found a place to get a few seeds of improved varieties. The Rodale Institute has done a lot of work collecting and breeding amaranth over the last couple of decades I believe.  I'm getting a commercial variety called "Plainsman" and a couple others that are reported to have shorter stalks, high yield, less shattering, and maybe disease resistance.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2009, 02:06:15 PM by Leucaena »

Offline patrat

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2009, 02:46:07 PM »
Experimented again, and got a stronger allergic reaction. There was basil growing next to the amaranth... two leaves of basil from that plant and my throat tightened up in 30 secs. The same basil plant grown in a pot has no reaction... that amaranth is doing something. Will cautiously try an amaranth leaf in a few weeks, to see if the amaranth and basil were co-creating a toxin.

Offline Matt the Farmer

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2009, 07:37:29 PM »
I'm growing my first amaranth this year. Just a 4x4 plot.  Actually just used the seeds I bought by the pound at the natural foods store.
Growing great.  They are currently forming the seed heads which are turning reddish purple.  It looks really cool.
I mulched them by planting purple-pod bush beans in the bed with them.
Didn't get greens off of them because some bug around here absolutely loves amaranth leaves. Ate them so they look like screens.
Now I'm looking for a good, inexpensive hand grain mill.

Matt

Offline mash

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2009, 08:14:21 PM »
Welcome to the forum Matt.

Offline Leucaena

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2009, 09:16:54 AM »
Matt, if your bugs are the same as my bugs you have cucumber beetles.  Look up a pic of them on Google and see if that's your problem.  Flea beetles would be my second guess.

And don't forget that you can just add the tiny grains to soups or stews and boil for about 10 minutes to avoid the need for a mill.

Offline Bloodyboots

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2009, 10:43:11 PM »
Hey Matt, try a coffee mill, we've got a nice little electric bean grinder that just pulverizes the seeds in to a nice flour. Also, I've been told a magic bullet blender with the flat blade works great too.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2010, 08:30:50 PM »

 How far north can amaranth be grown as a grain ? I think I saw before that it needs fairly hot weather in the 80's ..

Offline Klonus

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #45 on: February 28, 2010, 11:03:54 PM »
I made some amaranthe by boiling in water. It was similar in texture to that of "malto meal" but not as sweet. Does anyone know of any recipes that incorporates more ingredients to make boiled amaranthe more interesting?

Offline CFG

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2010, 12:43:24 AM »
I've actually mixed mine with rice in a casserole with chicken and cream of mushroom soup; being of the mentality that anything is better with cream of mushroom soup (& red bell pepper & onion...)

I still prefer quinoa to amaranth b/c of the graininess. 

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #47 on: March 02, 2014, 09:37:03 AM »
Saw this post and got me to wondering about growing some. Have seen sold by Bob's Red Mill Grain that should grow.
May buy some to see how well it would grow in our hot Texas summers and for guerrilla gardening purposes. 

Offline nettles

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2014, 02:04:22 PM »
im new here but have a lot of experience with amaranth in a permaculture systems. there are two ways to harvest amaranth as far as im concerned. most people cut and dry the heads, then thresh and winnow the seed out. this results in varied maturity in the grains, and imo a loss in yield/quality. however this method works better when its only you and your looking to grow a huge surplus, specially in a modern type way of farming/gardening.

the best way to grow and harvest it for home use and small commercial use is to use a hand rubbing method and collect the grains that are mature off the plants while they are still alive, doing this over a period of time as the seed matures(similar to how mulberry is harvested over a period of weeks to months). i have a large tub that is very light, it has a strap that goes over my head to hold the rim just below my chest. you come to the amaranth plants and bend them over, if they are over 12 ft you may need something to stand on or harvest the other way. once you bend this stalk over the tub and tap the flower head, when mature grains start to fall out its time to harvest. once a day or every few days you go pull down the heads and rub them lightly over the tub. the mature seed will fall out while the immature seed stays to ripen more.

there are more than a few benefits to this method. one is higher yield because the plant produces mature seed over time not cut at once. you also reduce the large amounts of itchy chaff that comes from the top harvesting method. since the flowers are still alive and only the seed is falling out, the chaff is reduced to a minimum, and on top of that its not itchy because its wet. If you have multiple harvesters you can get a very large amount of high quality seed from a field or large planting of amaranth. because its not all cut at once when the first seeds ripen, there is time for the birds to come in and distribute seed next years crop, and fill their belly.

growing it also has many uses other than grain.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Amaranth questions/discussion
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2014, 02:50:25 PM »

 I've never found amaranth greens that I have grown to be particularly tasty and trying to get the seeds seemed like a pain, but I know jack says it is highly nutritious