Thursday, January 5, 2012


I've been pouring over seed catalogs the past couple of weeks. One of the things we will be ordering this year is Amaranth. What an interesting plant.
 I've become fascinated with it and have read many articles about it. I am surprised more people don't grow it. "
The attraction of the crop to both earlier civilizations and modern consumers is the highly nutritious, golden seed. Amaranth seeds are unusually high in protein for a non-legume, running around 14 to 16% protein. Even better, the protein is well balanced in amino acids, and is high in lysine, an amino acid most grains are deficient in (legumes also have high lysine)."  It's grown around the world.  From Africa, India, China, Russia, South America and Mexico people use it for grain, greens, and ground for flour.  The grain is similar to Quoina and can be used like rice or popped as a treat.  The leaves are edible and similar to spinach.  I'm hoping the rabbits will like it too but I'm pretty sure they will.
Amaranth is also drought tolerant and is supposed to grow well in many climates. It's actually in the pigweed family.  Oh, and did I mention it is a beautiful plant ??  It has huge colorful seed heads.  Shoot.... All that and pretty too???  I mean.... I've just GOT to try this!  We have a perfect spot picked out to grow it too.  It grows pretty tall and will make a nice "hedge" along the front of part of the property.
So with some of the generous Christmas donation from a wonderful reader (THANK YOU!!! You know who you are!!) one of the types of seed I'll be ordering is some Amaranth and giving it a shot this year. 

As if that wasn't awesome enough, I got a big surprise in the mail yesterday.  My Mom sent me an early birthday present. My birthday isn't till the 14th but she's good like that.  LOL  We were on the phone talking about the neighbors wanting us to take some of their chickens off their hands. Their rooster population is growing more than they want to deal with and they aren't "into" killing chickens. So if we will "help them out" they are going to give us some laying hens too.  What a deal, right?   I mentioned to my Mom that I wanted to get a big pot to dunk them in.  Anyway..... (and yes, my conversations wander the same as my writing :P)  Obviously she was listening closer than I thought.  I was So surprised when I opened the box and saw this beautiful 16 quart stainless steel pot.  I just love it!!  It's going to get a workout for sure.  It's even tall enough I can use it as a water bath canner for my quart jars. And boy oh boy I could sure make up a big ol' batch of soup or chili or beans or .....   Anyway, Thank you Mom and Sandy. It's an awesome present and will get much use. 


  1. What a wonderful Momma. That is the pot we use here on the eastern shore to steam crabs or make a boil [with seafood, corn, sausage and potatoes] and I have an older one that we use to make tie dye t shirts. Your's will be perfect for canning too. Nice.

  2. Tons of information on Amaranth, including growing, harvesting, etc. is located on a board I frequent:

  3. I live in SW Florida - sub-tropical altho we had a killing frost Tuesday night with temps around 29.

    I decided to try red amaranth this year. Planted it in late August and started harvesting leaves for salad in late Sept. It has continued to grow very well and every time I harvest leaves it gets bushy.
    It has grown well in heat & drought, rainy season and came thru the freeze without a problem. We also planted 3 in pots with other similar colored plants as doorway planters and they are just lovely with their beautiful seedheads.

  4. Three years ago, I gathered the wild amaranth (pigweed) seeds that we had around here and the next spring tossed them in an area near the garden. I picked the young leaves and used them as spinach for a long time. I didn't let them get big enough to produce seed though as they are a huge pest plant around here.

    When I told my DH what I had done (saved & planted the seeds), he said something like....
    "You planted WHAT???? On PURPOSE?????"

    Weed to one person, good cook'n to another I guess.

  5. What we call pigweed stinks - I can't imagine using any part of it as food. Do I have the wrong plant, perhaps?

  6. I guess I should give amaranth a try too. Thanks, and enjoy the pot. Nice of your sweet mother.

  7. I've never come across a supply of amaranth seeds. I guess I'll have to look farther.

  8. I love growing amaranth SF, it doesn't mind our horrid dry heat at all! I use at least a teaspoon of it in every dinner daily, those amino acids are some of the best found in any food. A very versatile food:)

  9. Sounds like a wonderful food source, but if you have livestock, you need to make sure they can't get to it. Pigs can eat it, I think it used to be grown for pig feed ...but it is considered highly toxic to horses, cattle, goats and sheep.

    DARN, because it sounds really good otherwise. We just don't have a place to grow that we can GUARANTEE the horses won't get to it. It's also very prolific once it gets started, so even if you segregate it away from your (future) goats, it can spread to your pasture naturally over time.

    Interestingly, the toxicity is in the form of nitrate poisoning. Symptoms are partial paralysis, especially of the mouth, throat and facial muscles ...often fatal because the animal starves if poisoned. But pigs can eat it fine. What is it people always say about bacon? It's HIGH in NITRATES. Guess maybe that's why!

  10. Skippy boy oh boy a crab boil sounds wonderful! I know this pot will be one of those things I will be using for a long long time!!

    Falcon, thanks SO much for the link. There is some good information there that I had not seen before.

    Bellen, I saw where ya'll have been having some "interesting" weather this week. It's good to hear from someone who has had some success with amaranth. Like you said, if nothing else it is a pretty plant.

    LOL Carolyn!! I used to gather up poke salad out of our friends yard and cooke it up. He thought I was nuts but would let me pick all the "weeds" I wanted.

    suck, Pigweed is a different type of the same species. Amaranth is only a "relative".

    Stephen, thank you for stopping by today! My mom sure does know how to make me smile for sure!

    IanH I've found it in several catalogs. As a matter of fact thats how I started researching it in the first place. I saw it in Baker Creeks's catalog. This year I'll be ordering from Bountiful Gardens and see how it goes. Check that Free Catalog List I posted a few days ago. Those are links to seed companies who will most likely have it.

    Molly! Thanks for taking time out of your busy days! I just love your garden, it is amazing what you have done out there in all that heat! I'm really excited about trying the amaranth. Especially if it gets YOUR seal of approval!!

    HB, I knew it was toxic to some animals but didn't know "what it did" to them. From what I have read, before feeding it to animals you will have to toast it first. Feeding it to them raw is poisonious. This might make it impracticle but I guess we will see. Thanks for stopping by! I always learn something from you! Figures about the pigs doesn't it... lollll