Amaranth, Rio San Lorenzo (Organic)
Amaranthus sp. Flower/Grain. 45 days leaf; 100 grain.
We chose Rio San Lorenzo amaranth because of its beautiful marbled seed heads of pink-red and yellow-gold. They are gorgeous and seem to shimmer. Leaves can also be eaten raw when young or cooked like spinach when more mature. Vigorous plants typically grow to 7′ for us, although height may vary from 5-8′ depending on specific growing conditions and latitude. Seed threshes easily from plants and does not shatter if harvested on time. Harvest for grain when seed feels hard when you bite on it. Be sure to get it before the birds! A traditional grain amaranth from Durango, Mexico.
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.