We have been growing many leafy vegetables in our research center including mint, kale, coriander/cilantro which we discussed in an earlier blog. Today we discuss one of my favorites – Amaranth (singular Amaranthus). Available in shades of green, red or a mix of both – it a very useful and simple ingredient with manifold benefits.
Amaranth is a very good source of:
- Dietary Fibre
- Dietary Mineral
Amaranth is considered a complete protein (as it contains sufficient amounts of the amino acid Lysine)
Young Amaranth leaves can be eaten in salads, while older, more mature leaves are better cooked. Cooked Amaranthus retains a high concentration of essential vitamins and minerals. Thus, Amaranthus is beneficial in any form- cooked and raw!
We experimented growing Amaranth using each of the following mediums:
- Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)
- Deep Water Culture (DWC)
As long as conditions like temperature and humidity remain balanced, Amaranth can be harvested within 4-6 weeks. In all mediums, due to the harsh heat, we gave the plants a foliar spray of plain water as and when they looked too dry. Our results indicate that both NFT and DWC result in taller plants.
In the coco-peat medium, we sowed the seeds directly into the grow bed.
The seeds were first sown in pro-trays and then transplanted. It took around 15 days to transplant the small sapling of Amaranth into the NFT channels.
The NFT channels were provided with circulating nutrient-rich water for around 15 minutes, at two-hour intervals. We did this about four to five times during the day.
Like in NFT, the seeds were first sown in pro-trays and then transplanted at around 15 days.
We started with a dosage of 2 ml each of N, K, and P (in 1 litre of water). When transplanting them, we used DWC trays of a capacity of approximately 40 to 45 liters of water.
Aeration was provided – every alternate day.
Some of the plants grew to a height of 3 feet! And the best sign of a healthy plant – its clean roots!
Do take up any of these growing techniques to enjoy a nutritious, rewarding and homegrown delight!
Sometimes you choose your profession. Sometimes God chooses your profession for you. For me it was the latter – The quest to find purpose and expression came in the form of my work. A connection with soil, water, growth and life.
As a kid, I would secretly wish that grown-up life was just like my childhood – running around luscious green fields, feeding the farm cows, chasing and being chased by hens, goats, cousins, the wind in my hair, the rain on my face, the smell of the earth after a rain, and the sound of non-stop laughter.
It was a sad day, when I realised that my wish was just that – a wish! Its been a personal mission for me to recreate the magic of my childhood in any way possible and contribute to clean air, smiling faces, nourishing food, happier homes all with a sense of awe and gratitude. Thus I found my way to CityGreens – here I help people sow, plant, nurture, care and harvest plants. Through plants a better home and life.
When I was not running around and playing with my cousins and farm animals I also managed to do my B.Tech and MBA.