Quinoa is a great backyard grain crop--hulless, easy to grow and thresh, drought-resistant, high-yielding, and easy to cook. Very high in protein, and they are complete proteins, like eggs. Redhead is high-yielding, with excellent flavor. The red inflorescence produces grain that is pale rosy ivory. This variety is the most resistant to sprouting in the head in fall rains, an important new trait.
To get a good crop, you need either daytime temperatures below 80 degrees, or else cool nights. We are able to grow it successfully here in spite of 100-degree days; our nighttime temps drop to the 50's or 60's. If you live where summer nights are hot, I would suggest growing amaranth instead. Our seed grown by the breeder, Frank Morton, of Shoulder to Shoulder Farm and Wild Garden Seeds. He has pledged it as an open-source, OSSI variety. For growing info, see long description below. 300 seeds
Recently, farmers trying to create a domestic supply for market have developed new guidelines for field spacing. They are using closer spacing in order to grow unbranched plants, which can then be harvested all at once. While the yield is not as high per plant, it is very high per square foot. The latest information I have is that the recommendation for unbranched plants is to sow in rows 24" apart, with plants 8" apart. I have heard of large plantings with tractor and seed drill using spacings as close as 2". Photo courtesy of Adaptive Seeds.
Quinoa gives a better yield of grain than many similar crops simply because birds seldom eat it. The reason is that each grain has a coating of bitter soap-like compounds (saponins) that deters both birds and insect pests. A blender or food processor can be used to agitate the water so that rinsing is quick and easy. Soaking and blanching are other methods. the rinse water can be used as laundry soap.
You should harvest when the seed is hard, but the seedheads still retain their color. Rub the seed out of the tops, with the feet or gloved hands. You can screen out a lot of the chaff using 1/8" and 1/16" screens, then hand winnowing with a fan or wind. Window screening is cheap, readily available, and useful size for quinoa.