Wednesday, 02 December 2015 00:00

What's That Seed? Wednesday

Today's "What's That Seed? Wednesday" comes from the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia and was taken at ALM Organic Farm in Sooke, B.C.

This colourful array of seeds is hanging to dry. Can you venture a guess as to what they are? Scroll down to find out the answer.

 

It's quinoa!

Quinoa, or Chenopodium quinoa, is a pseudocereal. Meaning while it has the look, feel and many of the same uses as a cereal grain crop like wheat or barley, quinoa is not a member of the grass family, so not a true cereal. Quinoa is in fact in the same family as amaranth, and is more related to crops like beetroots and spinach.

The crop originated in the Lake Titicaca region of Peru and Bolivia and farmers began cultivating it between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago. Since then, farmers throughout the Andes selected seed to save from every harvest to fit a wide variety of needs, from the ability to grow at high altitudes in salty soil, to what works best for soups. This careful selection resulted in a wide range of quinoa varieties and landraces.

Just check out this list from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N.:

  • Chullpi for soups
  • Pasankalla for toasting
  • Coytos for flour
  • Reales for "pissara" or grains
  • Utusaya to resist salinity
  • Witullas and Achachinos to resist cold
  • Kcancollas to resist drought
  • Quellus or yellow seed for high yield
  • Chewecas to resist excessive humidity
  • Ayaras for its high balance of essential amino acids and proteins
  • Ratuquis for early growth

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse, with more than double the protein of barley, maize and rice. The rise of quinoa's popularity around the world, however, has inflated the price of the traditional crop so much that it is often too expensive for the Andean farmers who grow it.

Got seeds? Post your photos to Instagram and Twitter with #iamaseedsaver, or post them to our Facebook page, for the chance to be featured next Wednesday! Not on social media? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 2127 times Last modified on Thursday, 03 December 2015 18:32

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