Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Amaranth flowering and silverbeet seedlings

Well things are really powering along with this milder weather so it is a surprise every day when I go out and plants are bigger than I expect every day, they are growing so fast. With about 4 weeks left before the frosts are due I expect plants to be doing their best to get as big as they can before it gets cold.

 My amaranth is all flowering now. I have two beds flowering this year. The plants are not very big because they have been harvested a lot but I hope to get a lot more seed than last year.

These are vegetable amaranth which is grown for the leaves rather than grain which is why the flower heads are a lot smaller than grain amaranth. The seed size and taste is the same but I don't grow grain amaranth because of the pain it is to harvest and clean the seed. Maybe I will sometime though.

I love vegetable amaranth and my customers are now asking for it at the markets. It has a mild taste that appeals to most people and is easy to cook in many ways. Too bad it is frost tender so I can't put more in till spring now.

The beds that I harvested silverbeet seed from are now overrun with seedlings from the dropped seed. I don't mind as this has two advantages, I can see what sort of colours the seed will produce and that the seed is good, and I can sell handfulls of these seedlings at the market with no effort to look after them.
This picture is from the bed I am growing my 'Pastels' range from. It seems that most of the seedlings are a range of pinks but with a few yellows and oranges thrown in.
When some of the seedlings get big enough to take pictures of the leaves I can sell the seeds with a better idea of what my customers will get when they plant them. I have grabbed a handful of seedlings to plant in another bed just for this purpose. I have to sell all these seedlings at the next market as the potatoes I now have in this bed are starting to shoot.

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