Anyone growing amaranthe??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by luvrulz, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I saw in Mother Earth about amaranthe and ordered some to grow to see if I can feed it to my cows and other critters! Has anyone tried growing it? Have you heard of it or tried milling the seed?

    I have several different varieties and not only does it bloom - seemed like it is multi function and decorative too! Sounded like a win/win and if the cows/pigs/sheep like it, it will qualify for sure!
     
  2. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    Pig weed is a form of amaranth, so yes I have grown amaranth, but NEVER on purpose. Seems about a million tiny seed on the seed head and as a weed they will continue spawning progeny for years.

    I would simply make sure you harvest it well before seed can fall from the head, and once the seed is out of the head I'd burn the empty head so that no seed that is left in it can take ahold after falling to the ground.

    It is certainly a viable crop for utilization, I just have too much farmer in me and years of fighting it and other weeds to purposely grow it.
     

  3. dakani

    dakani Well-Known Member

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    I grew seed amaranth this year. Lovely looking plants - some came up green, others came up bright red. Unfortunately, just after I had planted, we had very heavy rain and most of my seeds drowned or rotted. :waa: Still, some came up, enough (plenty actually) to collect enough seed for another planting this year. The seeds are quite small, about the size of poppy seeds, and they are not difficult to harvest. A friend of mine decided that he wanted to plant leaf amaranth, a slightly different variety which, as the name suggests, focusses on growing its leaves rather than the seed. Depending on how you want to feed it, you could consider either. If you have concerns about the seeds taking over, then perhaps just grow the leaf amaranth, though as the seed amaranth is actually a wanted crop and not a nasty weed like pigweed, it probably won't even if you want it to! If you grow enough and mill the seed, you've got a gluten-free flour.
     
  4. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    I've grown it to satisfy a demand for it by customers, and my own curiosity.

    As they say, curiosity killed the cat. In this case, it nearly killed off my entire garden!!

    NEVER AGAIN!

    It self seeds profusely and rapidly, and it attracts grasshoppers to the garden in plague proportions. At one stage they stripped bare and nearly wiped out my entire plant collection.

    Out came the amaranthus, and 4 years later I'm still plucking unwanted seedlings out of pathways, gardens, pots......
     
  5. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! I had decided to try amaranthus before the Mother Earth News article. I had decided it wasn't for human consumption after I saw the size of the seeds, but still wanted to try it for the flock (in place of scratch next winter). I'm still going to try it, but I'm very glad I decided to put a wide row in the orchard. I'll plant it there, and if it (when it reading Culpeppers note) reseeds as suggested, it won't hurt the garden (and maybe will look pretty in the orchard). I'm sure the flock won't mind the grasshoppers either.

    Pat
     
  6. CurtisWilliams

    CurtisWilliams Well-Known Member

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    I stopped at Bomgaars yesterday and there staring me in the face were packets of Amaranthe seed. They only cost $1.99 plus tax for 130 mg. That's two bucks for just over a tenth of a gram of seeds. Needless to say I put the packet back on the shelf. I have a request into GRIN for four different varieties of Amaranth seed, but I haven't heard back from them yet. They seem to have gotten very slow over the last couple of months. Our tax dollars at work. - For those of you who don't know about GRIN, it is a government funded seed/germoplasm repository that distributes seeds and cuttings for free. They are supposed to distribute for research purposes only, but they have given me about half of my requests. They ask what is the intended use of the germoplasm, and I tell them that it is for micro-farming research ( which is the truth). I guess it's all in the phrasing.
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I raised amaranth many years ago. I was astounded by how small the seets were, and how good the germination rate was.

    I got a packet of mixed amaranth varieties from Bountiful gardens for $1.50. . I will be putting just a few seeds in with my flowers. The package was small but because I know the seeds are small that is OK.

    I enjoyed amaranth. Once it gets started it is vigorous, and the leaves are bland but edible.