A.L. White Teff is the variety most widely used for making injera bread in Ethiopia. It can also be used in general breadmaking and cooking up as a hot cereal. It is gluten free and very nutritious. It also makes superb tortillas and wraps.
I found this variety to be more productive than the Brown Teff, although the brown variety is more nutritious than the white. Again, teff is one of my favorite cereal crops to grow here in Northern Indiana. The white teff even grew back after harvesting and I was able to get a second smaller harvest of grain. I recommend starting your plants indoors for 4-5 weeks before setting out after frost in late May. Teff can be direct seeded but the tiny seeds are difficult to sow evenly, and weeds (especially grasses) could quickly become a competitive problem for the tiny teff seedlings. I transplant about 1 foot apart in beds. The plants grow to 3 feet tall and bush out as they produce tillers. I strongly recommend tying the plants up by setting stakes around your bed’s perimeter and running twine around the outside as well as from side to side, across the bed. It is important to do this before irrigating the maturing plants as they lodge very easily. Lodging is when the plant falls over and can make a clean, easy harvest next to impossible. It is important to remember that teff is adapted to growing in an arid, hot climate with little or no rain. A mid-summer Indiana thunderstorm could flatten your whole crop to the ground. This also plays a part in determining when and how to harvest. Teff, like quinoa and amaranth, has special harvesting needs when grown in our region. Summer rains, aside from causing the plants to lodge can also make harvesting difficult if handled the same way you would in an arid climate. In Ethiopia, the plants are allowed to mature fully and dry out somewhat, like wheat, before cutting. This will not work well when you have a rainy summer. A good solution is to cut your plants while they are still green, as long as most of the seed heads are close to maturity, and hang them to dry for a few weeks in a well-ventilated place, like a barn or shed. You will know the grain is getting close to maturity when you can rub the seed heads between your fingers and the tiny teff seeds easily dislodge from the plant. I thresh the grain free from the dried plants by rubbing the seed heads between the palms of my hands over a bucket or tub. Winnowing can be a bit tricky as the grain is so light. Teff can yield up to a pound of grain for every 20 sq. foot. Possibly more with more intensive growing practices.
- A.L. White Teff
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# Option Price 1 1 gram (approx. 1000 seeds) $3.50
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