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Quinoa
Chenopodium quinoa

A high protein staple green and seed “grain” from the Andean highlands, with thicker and juicier leaves than lambs quarter, its close cousin. Leaves are a nice salad size with salty spinach-like flavor. Thrives in dry periods of summer. Sow 1” apart in rows for cutting 6-8” plants for greens, or space 12-14” apart for picking leaves (which may be followed by grain production). Maturing seed heads are very brightly colored, ornamental, and high yielding.

After decades of obscurity, Quinoa has recently swept to the attention of farmers and gardeners in North America. Washington State University has an extensive testing program ongoing to find South American varieties that will perform well in the Pacific Northwest. Quinoa is largely adapted to cool, dry, upland conditions, and will fail to make seed if temperatures are too hot for pollen tube development. This temperature sensitivity is variable across varieties. The Willamette Valley is too warm some years, and with warmer climates ahead, it is not too early to begin the process of adaptation.

Quinoa Cultivation for Grain:
As a mountain farmer from way back, quinoa has always been a natural crop for my home ground. Quinoa is a mountain peoples' crop, particularly suited to marginal soils, cool nights, and dry conditions. I began growing it in 1983 on a mountain of glacial till near Puget Sound with great success, and never had a failure until recently, while sowing into great soil in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where the nighttime temps are higher and grass seed fields are full of lygus bugs (that suck nutrients from blooming seedheads). Five miles away in the foothills where I live, simultaneous crops were as full as normal. We cannot say exactly why, but we believe this relates to some critical threshold temperature for pollen tube development, a phenomenon well understood in growing seed of spinach, a relative of quinoa.

Kevin Murphy, WSU quinoa researcher in Pullman, WA, tells me that temperature sensitivity and varietal performance are variable in his trials, and are likely dependent on the South American latitude and micro-climate that gave rise to each variety. We have noted that our quinoa feedback has been very positive from western Canada, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and other northern mountain States. We would love to hear from others about their quinoa seedcrop experience in other places.

Our best success with quinoa "grain" comes with planting from mid-April through May. Direct seed into 24" rows. Thin to 3-4" apart in the row to produce single-headed plants that mature uniformly for harvesting in a single pass. Maximum seed yield comes from 12" or greater in-row spacing that makes a branched crop. This may require an initial harvest of primary heads, followed in another 7-14 days with a final harvest of whole plants. Harvest when seedheads are still brightly colored, and thresh with a rubbing action of the head (by hand or feet, or belt thresher). Grain is easy to clean with 1/8" and 1/16" hardware mesh, and careful winnowing.


Seeds Per Packet: 500
Seeds Per Ounce: 20,000

Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Seed

Displaying 1 to 10 (of 10 products) Result Pages:  1 
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 Biobio (Quinoa)  Biobio 
NEW FOR 2017! A short season, short stature white-seeded quinoa from Chile. We found it as an off-types in purchased 'Kaslaea' seed last year, but have strong confidence it is actually 'Biobio.' Looks very similar to Redhead, also with very white seeds. 'Biobio' seems to have smaller seeds in general, but I did make some larger-than-average seed selections from this population. Earliest maturing kind in our tri... pricing and more info...
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 Brightest Brilliant Rainbow (Quinoa)  Brightest Brilliant Rainbow Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
This diverse selection includes our most striking color choices. Hot pink to royal burgundy, red, orange, yellow, white, green, and every bright combination. Large, branching plants can reach 7’ tall. pricing and more info...
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 Cherry Vanilla (Quinoa)  Cherry Vanilla Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
Beautiful strain with pink and cream heads, and the whitest seeds of any type we’ve tried. Short and quick maturing, unbranched when close planted. Excellent flavor and productivity. This variety is in the running to become a standard for Pacific Northwest quinoa introduction. Good mildew resistance. pricing and more info...
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 French Vanilla (Quinoa)  French Vanilla Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
Named for the appearance of the large seedheads that look like overloaded ice cream cones. Selected out of 'Brightest Brilliant', this new variety reaches 6-7' tall with little branching when spaced a foot apart in rows 16" apart. The large heads ripen uniformly, making harvest more straight-forward than in varie... pricing and more info...
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 Kaslala Multicolor (Quinoa)  Kaslala Multicolor 
NEW FOR 2017! This diverse variety has a number of unique qualities that have gained my attention. First, the plants themselves are striking, a large percentage having the "magenta leaf" trait in the young leaves, and growing to 7' tall, many plants with bright red stems. The seed is vividly multicolored from jet black through chocolate, nut brown, buff, pink, cherry, yellow and white. Seeds are larger than th... pricing and more info...
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 Magenta Sunset (Quinoa)  Magenta Sunset Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
NEW FOR 2017! This is a selection out of Brightest Brilliant Rainbow made with the cut flower grower in mind. The ripening panicles are brilliant magenta-orange, with stems that become red-pink-orange striped as they dry. Dru Rivers at Full Belly Farm in Guinda CA has pioneered the introduction of quinoa into the fresh and dried cut flower trade. This bud's for you! pricing and more info...
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 Mint Vanilla (Quinoa)  Mint Vanilla Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
New selection out of 'Brightest Brilliant', bright white-headed quinoa with very white seeds in a green-tinged panicle. pricing and more info...
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 Oro de Valle (Quinoa)  Oro de Valle Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
This gold-headed strain has been selected out of our ‘Brightest Brilliant Rainbow’ for growing in the heart of the Willamette Valley. The head is composed of relatively loose seed clusters, which helps prevent molding or head-sprouting in humid conditions. Stocky plants are about 4’ tall at maturity. Seed is golden... pricing and more info...
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 Red Head (Quinoa)  Red Head Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
Our first selection from the original South American introductions of the 1980s. Sturdy high yielding strain with bright pinkish red seed heads, white seeds. Selected to withstand some rain at maturity without seed sprouting in the head, an important new trait in quinoa for North America. pricing and more info...
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Wild Garden Breeder's Mix Farm Original Variety! OSSI Pledged Variety
NEW FOR 2017! We are engaged in a 5 year quinoa breeding project supported by the Clif Bar Family Foundation. One goal of the project is to increase the availability of quinoa germplasm that is adapted to growing in North America, and to share that germplasm with others involved in local attempts to develop regionally adapted varieties. One way to do this is to create and distribute finished varieties. Another... pricing and more info...
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