Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Self-volunteer Red Leaf Amaranth (Bayam Merah)

These nutritious veggies, red amaranth or also known as Chinese or Asian spinach and bayam in Malaysia, are very easy to grow. The seeds volunteer themselves wherever they land, thanks to birds, wind and rain, that spread them all over my backyard. I had 2 mature tall plants last few months which produced many mini foxtail-like flowers with hundreds of tiny black seeds lodged inside. Red amaranth has been growing here and there and everywhere in and around my plant pots at the front and back of my house for a year now. From time to time, sprouts emerged when I overturned the soil in the pots. The plants do very well in full sun and can grow in any soil condition and they grow fast. If you don't have the seeds to start with, just buy a bunch of this veggie from the market with roots. Plant the roots with 3 inches of stem above the root level, water and watch it grow. From here, you can let the plant mature for seed collection.

Cooked amaranth leaves are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate; they are also a complementing source of other vitamins such as thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, plus some dietary minerals including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. (source: wikipedia)

Here are some of the 'volunteer' red amaranth vegetable growing in my backyard.

Hundreds of tiny black seeds are lodged inside these mini foxtail-like flowers. Allow one or two plants like this go to wilt and the seeds will give you continuous batch of these veggies.

A bunch which I harvested for stir fry.