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June 16: alternative staple crops – pine nuts

2016/06/16 deej 0

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of several species of pine tree. The main species of pines used for pine nut production are the stone pine (Pinus pinea), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), chilgoza pine (Pinus gerardiana), and the North American pinyon pines, including the Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis), single-leaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla), and Mexican pinyon (Pinus cembroides). We have 5 seeds (Pinus pinea) in pots, having stratified them in the fridge for the requisite 5 weeks (until they began to germinate) then planted them out into tree tubes; No sign yet of green shoots, but I’m still hopeful that spring […]

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June 15: staple crops

2016/06/15 deej 0

A staple crop is one that provides the majority of a population’s diet, generally providing primarily starch and/or protein. Our current primary staple crops worldwide are corn (maize), wheat, and rice. There are also other staple crops or potential staple crops (crops with the capacity to provide the majority of a population’s diet) grown – barley, rye, oats, teff, sorghum (milo), millet, soybeans and other legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, ..), quinoa, amaranth, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, oca, cassava, arrowroot, plantains and sago (derived from the pith of the sago palm). There are probably others, but those are some of the more common ones. Do […]

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June 14: plant profile: quinoa

2016/06/14 deej 0

No tasks completed yesterday, so here’s another plant profile instead 🙂   Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is an annual plant from South America, which grows in climates just as hot and dry as ours. Its seeds are edible, and can be used the way you would use rice. They’re very high in protein, so they’re especially good for vegetarians.   Although it’s used as a cereal grain, quinoa is actually a pseudocereal, like amaranth or buckwheat, meaning that it is not a grass. All true grains are grasses; quinoa is actually more closely related to spinach and beetroot. It grows 1 […]

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plant profile: amaranth

2013/06/18 deej 0

Amaranth (Amaranthus spp.), also known as love-lies-bleeding or pigweed, is reasonably common in flower beds and nurseries around Perth. It’s an impressive looking plant, with tall spires of long lasting pink, purple, or orange flowers and often attractively variegated red and green leaves. Amaranth species prefer a tropical climate, but many species are frost tolerant, and they’re so hardy that they’re considered a weed in many places. I saw a few growing wild in the middle of the city this morning. Almost every part of the plant is edible. The seeds were a staple food of the native people of […]