Monday, June 8, 2009

Amaranth for dinner!

When I decided to enter into this venture of radically changing my landscape from mostly grass to mostly mulch, with edible plants and ornamental plants, I knew nothing about plants in Florida.  I didn't even know the names of the few shrubs that were existing in my yard, much too close to the house.

So I hired Denise, from Green Harmony, to design the overall landscape and choose the ornamentals.  Denise partnered with Joe, from Abundant Edible Landscapes, for the edible part and the drip irrigation installation.  The whole project took 8 days (just two days longer than the Garden of Eden,  I realize.)

Joe knows all about edible plants one can easily grow in a back yard.  For instance, he planted Okinawa spinach,  which has beautiful dark green leaves with purple undersides, and can be cooked or eaten in salads.  We've enjoyed it since the garden was installed.

Joe planted amaranth seeds.  I pretty much ignored the dirt plot where the seeds were scattered, as I did my daily inspections of some of the more exciting and colorful plants. growing.  Heck, I didn't even know what amaranth was, nor how to cook or eat it.  I went to my font of knowledge, the internet, and it said something about amaranth grains.  I'm thinking "I'm not about to grind up grains and cook them.  

Well, it seemed like overnight, but in reality, it was 2 months, and lo and behold, AMARANTH - hugh red and green leaves.  Joe said you can eat the leaves, so last night, after consulting my internet mentor, I cooked a bunch of leaves as I would cook spinach.  I added an onion. Delicious!  Not only delicious, but extremely nutritious, with lots of calcium.  Who knew?? (Joe knew.)

The plant is very pretty too, up against my fence. It's easy to grow in Northern Florida, and probably other places. You'll have to do your own research, but I highly recommend it.  And yes, I probably will experiment with the amaranth grain, just for fun.

1 comment:

  1. We tried growing amaranth for greens and grain... bugs LOVED the grain heads and brought havoc to the garden. We didn't plant any this summer, but in the future we'll go for varieties that emphasize the greens and we'll keep cutting back any forming grain heads. Just a suggestion. Good luck!