Amaranth, Copperhead (Organic)
Amaranthus sp. Flower/Grain. 45 days leaf; 90 grain.
A stunning early maturing variety that grows 4-7′ tall and has light tan, almost golden colored seeds. With its very ornamental, large, orange seed heads, Copperhead Amaranth will certainly become a focal point in the garden. We love it when staple food crops double as ornamentals. Similar to the classic amaranth variety, Golden Giant, but with shorter plants and earlier maturity. We find it to be very reliable for seed production in our bioregion. Amaranth was a staple crop of the Aztecs; its seeds and leaves are known to be some of the most nutritious of food crops. Our friend Gary Rondeau did an excellent write-up of his experience with this grain on his blog at: squashpractice.wordpress.com
Sow in pots indoors in April for planting out in May, or direct sow after danger of frost. 12–18″ spacing. Harvest for greens at any time; harvest grain when seeds rub off easily in your hand, but before seed head is crispy dry. Windrow or hang over a tarp to dry for several days, then dance, rub, or shake seeds from seed heads. For larger crops, place dry plants on a tarp and drive on it with a vehicle. Winnow to clean or place seeds in a bowl and make a stirring motion with your arm; chaff rises to the top for easy removal.
For seed saving, isolate from other amaranths of the same species by 1⁄4 mile.