(Chenopodium quinoa) Staple grain of the Andean Altiplano where it was domesticated 3-4000 years ago (and was second only to the potato in dietary importance), quinoa was fairly unknown in the US until the 1980s. Quinoa is an amazing and delicious food. High in protein (12-18%) as well as being a complete protein (rare in the plant world), it boasts a low glycemic index rating (good for diabetics), is gluten-free (for celiac sufferers), high in iron, magnesium, and fiber, and even rescues kittens from tall trees. It is pretty unfussy and a visually beautiful plant in bloom. A close relative to the common weed, lambquarters, we actually recommend transplanting quinoa so you can know with certainty where it is in the field as it is virtually indistinguishable from its weedy cousin in the early vegetative stage. “Red Head” is a selection by Frank Morten out of some of the first wave of imported quinoa to withstand potentially wet and cool fall harvest times, something it doesn’t often face in the Andes. It has a more open head structure and resistance to premature seed sprouting in wet weather near harvest time. Rinsing grains through several changes of water before cooking (until water no longer appears soapy) will help remove bitter saponin coating. A lovely grain to eat as well as to add to bouquets, Red Head moves through a sunset of colors from green all the way to hot pinks and salmon. 4-6' with one main stem and multiple side shoots.
90-110 days. UO OSSI
Packet: ~300 seeds