Frank Morton has been developing new kinds of quinoa, with the backing of the Clif Bar Family Foundation. His Wild Garden Seed catalog offers a breeder's mix, as well as some named selections like Biobio and Cherry Vanilla.
He wrote an article about the problems to be overcome - the need for strong stems, resistance of the developing seeds to sprouting at the first bit of rain, and how to wash pillowcases full of seeds in a washing machine to remove the bitter soapy coating present on the seeds.
No mention of developing seeds without the saponin, though.
I have done a search, and saponin-free seeds have been developed, mainly in Europe. Four kinds have been developed by Wageningen University, and licensed to a company that makes various products, like flakes, crisps, and flour from them.
Well, that won't help me grow some, but then I found some companies selling the whole seeds.
britishquinoa.co.uk has white seeds for sale, and is continuing to breed for saponin-free red and black seeds.
quinola.com/french-whole-grain-quinoa/. Jason Abbot began developing saponin-free quinoa eleven years ago. He grows it in the Loire Valley but also sells in the U.K. under the name Quinola Mothergrain Express Quinoa. Whole Grain
I wasn’t aware of the saponin free varieties. What a time saver. I’ll start looking at the labelling more carefully when I buy quinoa. Maybe the low saponin varieties are around and I just haven’t noticed.
Ray Silty loam over clay, pH 5.5, altitude 1000m, latitude 30deg south, 150 frost free days.
I don't know. Will you be growing some plants? If so, you and I will have the answer next year when we grow the next generation.
added later: I read an article about breeding quinoa. No shortcuts to selection. There is no way to tell whether seedlings are going to be saponin-free. You have to wait until the plants produce seeds to find out.
I recalled reading about a 'dwarf-quinoa' earlier in the year, a small Andean chenopod hardier than quinoa. Hadn't thought much more about it at the time, as it was rare and hard to find seed, but remembered its cartoonish appearance. Regarding the topic of saponins, or lack thereof, thought I better look into this plant again. It's called 'cañihua' or 'kañiwa', Chenopodium pallidicaule.
I've ordered some from a health-food shop in Scotland. I believe it's only farmed in Peru at present, though it has been grown successfully in Finland. If it's not available across the pond, I can send some over with the quinoa.
Post by prairiegardens on Dec 1, 2019 17:30:24 GMT -5
Nuts company sells Kaniwa seed no idea if it would be viable but going to give it a shot. One source said that different varieties ripen anywhere from 70 to 150 days so that would be the next question if it was viable seed. Any better source for seed anyone has found?
Well, I found that quinoa does not like my garden. I received saponin-free seeds from two members. They germinated well but the plants never got more than 8 cm tall. A couple of them flowered.
It reminded me of a time that I grew corn. My father sowed it in my garden and fertilized it. The corn produced well. The next year I sowed corn in the same place and didn't fertilize it. It grew, but each plant was a perfect miniature.
So next year I will make sure my quinoa gets fertilized.
Post by prairiegardens on Dec 3, 2019 14:39:23 GMT -5
Apparently they sell both quinoa and kaniwa seed but not sure of what varieties any of them might be. I liked the " don't need to rinse to get rid of saponins" aspect of kaniwa and also that it is apparently a semi feral seed, one site warned it might. tend to get invasive; I really like the strong will to live that that suggests. And, after all, it IS a food plant. I have never really understood the zeal to declare food plants "enemy" but in any case nobody near grows cereal - or any other- crops, it's all pasture.
That's what I like about the feral wheat that showed up ~4 years ago; I do nothing for it, no ferts, no irrigation; it out-tops the weeds, growing where I don't till; and increases its areas each year; what's not to like?
"Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." E. Roosevelt "If the world is to end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today" Martin Luther
if you had a saponin free version, then birds might eat it all for you. this is why I like saponin containing seeds that I can wash, but the birds can't then again things like sorghum are not a viable crop for me due to birds, other areas are likely not as bad as mine.