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   Tallest Amaranth plant-world record set by Jesse Eldrid

[Jan 12]RHINEBECK, NY,USA-- Jesse Eldrid cultivated a 27 feet, 10 inches Amaranthus Australis and has set world record for the Tallest Amaranth.

    His secret? "lots of cow and chicken manure, sun and water. At one point the plants grew feet per day taller."

   Photo: Jeese's previous record was "only" a fifteen foot tall Amaranth plant.
  (enlarge photo)

   Jesse Eldrid: For the past few years I have been researching seeds from all over the world. I have grown Corn from Ecuador, Peru, Nayarit, Chiapas, Guatemala and Columbia. Sorghum from Ethiopia. And African pearl millet. Zea nicaraguensis from Nicaragua Tesonite Root crops from Japan, and UK. Sunflowers from China and beyond!! Pumpkins(Canada and buffalo) Watermelons the Carolinas . And the list goes on…    

    On October 25th, 2007, after a long summer of working, watching, and waiting, he finally contacted county officials in order to obtain a legitimate measurement of the Amaranthus Australis plant he had been growing since the beginning of the year.

    Just before the official measurement, the plant also began producing flowers which also contributed to the overall height of the amaranth. Another factor contributing to the overwhelming size of the plant was the amount of water it received per day -- approximately 30 gallons per plant, per day.

    In order to give the plant extra support (and to determine the benchmark for the old record) Jesse built a fifteen foot tall trellis for the amaranth. It didn't take long for the plant to outgrow it, though. By the middle of August, it was no longer possible to measure the plant with a ladder alone.
   When Jesse contacted the local bureau of weights and measures, he knew that he had a record-breaking plant -- but he didn't know that his plant would be almost twelve feet (11.98) taller than the the goal he had set for himself in the existing record: the official measurement of the plant, he would learn that afternoon, was 27'10".
  (enlarge photo)
   Department of Consumer Affairs-Wheight and Measures N.Y.
recorded the plant's actual height using a measuring tape and a bucket truck (see photo left and video). 
By growing crops such as these, Jesse hopes to raise awareness about the natural world and the potential for alternative energy.   

    Jesse's goal? "Next year I will hit 30 feet."

    Read more about Amaranthus Australis

            Tallest Amaranth plant video       
    Native to the United States, Amaranthus Australis is a seasonal plant; after the first frost of the year, Moore's specimen will die. It typically flourishes in warmer climates, including the southeastern United States.

    Excerpts from Mother Earth News:

   The genus Amaranthus contains at least 60 species, according to David Brenner, curator for amaranth in the U.S. National Plant Germplasm System based in Beltsville, Md.

   Amaranth is one of the most nutritious, easy-to-grow and well-adapted — not to mention visually spectacular — plants on the planet.

   “It is the perfect crop for poor farmers,” Ominique Guillet, a French seedsman and founder of the Kokopelli Seed Foundation, which works to supply free organic, heirloom seeds to poor farmers worldwide, says.
   “It grows in poor soils without irrigation, it is easy to harvest and thresh without machinery, and it provides high-quality protein, second only to mothers’ milk.” Guillet also loves amaranth because it is so productive. “From one plant, from one tiny seed, you can get more than 100,000 seeds, maybe more!”

   Amaranth grows to head-high or taller in an array of gorgeous colors and shapes, and it can provide year-round sustenance. In early summer, the young greens are a delicious addition to salads, with a flavor similar to spinach. Throughout the growth cycle, the larger leaves are healthful and delicious when steamed, sautéed or used in soups.uring the heat of the summer, the plants will mature into a regal garden display. In the fall, mature seed heads will yield many ounces of protein-packed seeds with a rich, nutty taste

   Not only are the seeds high in protein (about 16 percent compared to 10 percent in most whole grains), but the protein has a balanced amino acid profile especially high in lysine, which is rare for plant foods and essential to humans for protein synthesis.     Combining amaranth with other grains complements their protein and boosts their nutritional value. Amaranth seeds also contain generous amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorous and fiber. The leaves are high in protein, as well as beta carotene, iron, calcium and fiber. All this nutrition and flavor comes from a plant that requires little water and can grow in almost any type of soil. It’s no wonder amaranth is often dubbed a “superfood.”

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