How to grow
Amaranth is a broadleaf plant that could be mistaken for soybeans early in the growing season by someone driving past a field. Late in the season, however, there is no mistaking this striking, tall crop which develops brilliantly colored grain heads producing thousands of tiny seeds. Amaranth was a major food of the Aztecs and earlier American cultures, having been domesticated thousands of years ago.
Amaranth began to be grown as a grain crop in the U.S. in the late 1970’s. Although grown on only a few thousand acres each year, it is a common food item in the health food section of grocery stores.
The relatively high price of amaranth, while good for farmers, is a factor limiting the extent of its current use in the food marketplace. Still, the valuable characteristics of amaranth grain, combined with its adaptation to a wide range of growing areas, make it a very promising crop for the future.