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Quinoa has made a real triumph in Europe in recent years and is considered one of the so-called "superfoods". With their ingredients, the small grains not only score with vegans, because they have in addition to high-quality proteins and unsaturated fatty acids a number of vitamins, important minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron and phytochemicals. Quinoa is a so-called pseudocereal - a "fake cereal". It has similar ingredients to the real cereals, although it belongs to the dicotyledonous plants. In addition, the grains are gluten-free and thus a good alternative to conventional cereals for allergy sufferers. You can not bake bread from quinoa seeds.
The herbaceous plants are between 50 and 200 inches high and grow depending on the variety eintriebig or branched. The rhombic leaves are serrated on the edge. The flowers are greenish and sit in dense Scheinähren. The fruits that develop from this are nut-like and about two millimeters in size.
The Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) originating from South America belongs to the Goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae). It is closely related to the White Goosefoot (Chenopodium album), a native field weed, also with vegetables such as the Good Henry (Chenopodium bonus henricus) and the tree spinach (Chenopodium giganteum). Regardless of its botanical origin, quinoa is often referred to as Andean millet. As a foodstuff for the indigenous peoples of the Andes, it has a similar status to real millet for many Africans. In the high mountains it is the main food along with the amaranth. It easily grows in more than 4,000 meters - so why not in the garden?
Location and ground
Barren soils, dryness and cool temperatures are no problem for the quinoa plant. However, you make too much wetness, especially waterlogging, to create. The cultivation works in almost any sunny spot. Ideal is a preculture such as new potatoes, as quinoa loves very loose soils. Alternatively, you can easily loosen the bed with a sow tooth deep and superficially one to two liters of mature compost per square meter aussteu.
Only use high-quality seeds for cultivation in the garden, preferably in organic quality. It is sown in mid-April to the end of May. First, you should thoroughly loosen the soil and remove the weeds. Seed then best in rows with a distance of about 40 centimeters and a maximum of two inches deep. The distance in the row should be 15 centimeters, as the plants can be quite wide. In professional cultivation is often seeded in double rows, each with 15 to 20 centimeters distance in order to better exploit the area. After sowing, close the grooves and press the soil well. Then water thoroughly and keep moist until wet but not wet. In most cases, the fine seeds in the rows are first sown and then the young plants are warped to a distance of 15 centimeters. For double rows, make sure that the plants are staggered.
Unlike wheat and many other cereals Quinoa is gluten-free and therefore suitable for allergy sufferers
Quinoa hardly needs care. Neither casting nor fertilizing is necessary, only the weeds should be removed regularly. As already mentioned, the quinoa plant is as undemanding as most other goosefoot plants and does not need much to thrive successfully. It also consumes the last bit of water from a barren soil, cope with cold, harsh weather and usually offers a good yield.
Harvest and recovery
Quinoa is harvested between the end of August and the end of September, depending on the weather until mid-October. Harvest only in dry weather, and preferably in the late afternoon, because the seeds are then nice and dry. With the combine harvester, as usual with larger fields, this is not possible in the garden. Instead, you just pick the plants by hand and hang them if necessary for a few days in a dry place in bundles upside down to dry. If the grains in a large bucket shake well out of the seed stalls, they have the right degree of ripeness.
The yield is usually high, but may vary slightly depending on the weather and location. Only after they are completely dry, the grains can be used. But then they are versatile in the kitchen, whether as a side dish, salad, in cereal or for desserts. Before processing, however, you should always rinse the seeds thoroughly with lukewarm water, as there are many bitter substances in the seed coat.
The young leaves and shoots of quinoa can be prepared like spinach.For example, you can use the young plantlets that were removed from the bed when it was warped.
Diseases and pests
Quinoa is like most goosefoot species very robust and is hardly infested by diseases or pests.