I bought Four Star Explorer Mix amaranth this year as part of my ongoing efforts to find grains i can grow for myself. Its gorgeous!
I will grow it again just for the beauty and the delicious salad 'greens'. But a grain? Ah! It seems to finish all at different times, and there is far more chaff than seed, i ended up having to freeze it to kill of the last of the bugs, and cleaning it seems impossible with all the methods i have tried (sieves, gravity, lightly blowing on it, wind, water... etc). I lose more grain than i keep, and will be only have enough cleanish seeds to replant next year. I have also tried harvesting at different stages, etc.
Do you grow amaranth? What varieities do you grow? How do you harvest and clean it as a grain?
I bought seed for a couple varieties but didn't get around to planting them this year. I also ordered some of the grain and tried cooking that. Not bad. Suspect with some practice cooking it I will really like it. I just toasted it a bit, then boiled it like I would rice.
I too worry a bit about the harvest/winnowing process. I might end up just growing it for my chickens, assuming I can get them to eat it. They can be picky about seeds.
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
Anne - you definitely should grow it! Mine was 8 ft tall, bright red, showy flowers. I had people walking by ask me about jt, they could see it in the backyard. Further research since i posted this made me determine that mine is a nongrain variety/species (black seeds)
I think i weeded out a lot of the diversity in the mix. Oops.
Dan - i suspect the grain varieties may be easier to winnow than mine. Chickens would definitely like it, and not for the seeds - i have never seen as many bugs as crawled out of mine. Yummy chicken snacks!