Amaranth

Last week I planted 200 amaranth seeds supplied by the USDA.  Well, I assume there were 200 in that tiny pinch of seeds!  This particular seed originated in Mexico, but besides the Americas amaranth is also grown in India, Nepal, China and East Africa.  Amaranth was at its height of production in the 1400s feeding the Aztec empire. Africans prefer to eat amaranth greens, but the grain is also tasty and high in protein.  It is similar to sorghum in growing conditions and toleration of drought .  We covered the planting area in sheep manure and mixed in mulch because amaranth does not like clay soil (what we have here) and prefers a bit of nitrogen.  The birds were very interested in what I was doing with those seeds, so I immediately put up bird tape along the 3 -20 foot rows.  Today when I came to water a flock of birds flew away from the plot, so I covered it in bird netting also.  They obviously adapted to the fluttering, red bird tape.  Bummer.  Hopefully there are some seeds left to grow!  We plan to save the seed for future plantings- but first I have to make some savory amaranth crackers:)

3 rows of amaranth seed, 20 feet long, parallel to the papaya trees.

Grace and Pumpkin
Not related to amaranth- just a free smile:)

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