Amaranth, Love Lies Bleeding (Organic)
Amaranthus caudatus. Flower. 65 days.
This popular ornamental has long streaming magenta flowers that are very nice as a long lasting cut flower. Love Lies Bleeding is a great crop in the summer heat and tolerates neglect very well. Yields tan edible seeds with a slight pink hue. Occasionally self seeds and can return through volunteers, however it is not weedy like pigweed. This species of amaranth is thought to originate in South America and was used by some indigenous peoples as a grain staple food.
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.