October 1992. For the last 5 weeks, I've been going to barter fairs every weekend selling books, off in the most rural areas of eastern Washington and northern Idaho. At one fair in the Okanogan Highlands, where the stars at night look so big and bright you feel that you could just reach up and grab one, I happened on a quinoa (pronounced "keenwa") booth. "Oh," I said to the lady with delight. "Could I buy some seed from you?"

"No," she stated firmly. "You can buy quinoa porridge, or flour, or quinoa grain for soups, but we don't sell seed. We've spent 5 years developing our supply source direct from the high Andes and have too much invested to risk that."

Well, phooey all over you, I thought in unspoken retort, as I silently walked away. Sorry about that, Lady, but

I'll lay odds you're growing it yourself right in this lovely mountain valley. It's a perfect place for quinoa. And you may not like it, but in the new edition of my book I'm going to tell anybody who reads it how to grow quinoa. Yes, and where they can get seed right here in the United States. Some types of information I think should be public by God-given right, including where to get seeds and how to grow and process food. So here it is . . .

Quinoa, like amaranth, is another non-grass grain, a domesticated lamb's-quarters. It's a native of the Andes Mountains of South America and is a staple grain in parts of Peru, Bolivia, and southern Chile. Called the "mother grain" by the Incas, quinoa is a tiny seed whose color depends on the variety. Its advantages are its ability to handle droughts, cold weather, high elevations, and infertile soil. It resembles millet and amaranth.

Continue reading here: Planting and Growing Quinoa

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