Sunday, January 16, 2011

Harvesting Quinoa

This past summer, we grew Quinoa... with the idea of harvesting and eating it through the winter.  Well, being new to gardening... (especially grains), through trial and error, this process has taken quiet while!
Step One:  Harvesting:  I collected the Quinoa stems in September and stored them in a paper bag.  I thought that the seeds would fall out once the plant had completely dried.  WRONG!  Some did, some didn't.  Now it's January, and I finally have time to take matters into my own hands... winnowing!!!
Step Two: Winnowing:  Looking at my collection of stems, I thought, "I bet I can get through this by winnowing with my hands...  I will probably get only a half a cup and take about an hour."  WRONG again!  As I winnowed by hand the first two stems (rubbing bunches of the dried florets together) , I easily had 1/2 a cup.  Plus, not only seeds fell into the bowl, but the casings as well.  Spending time picking the casings out was getting to be a time drain!! So, my wonderful husband made me a winnower out of wire mesh and voila... I had an efficient and effective winnower!
Step Three:  Washing  Quinoa needs to be soaked in water to rinse out the saponin.  I soaked and rinsed the seeds about 5 times until the water ran clear with no bubbles!
Step Four: Drying  Finally I put the clean quinoa on baking sheets to air dry!


  1. Wow, I'm seriously impressed that you grew Quinoa! :)

  2. Hi Alyson,

    The artwork at the top of your blog is great! Who did it? A graphic artist? Anyway... your site is really great! I'm looking forward to following you and your future creations.

    Shoom, Shoom, Kaboogy Bop, Hey, LoveBug!

    Eric Swihart
    Oakland, CA