Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat. It is a broadleafed plant which produces many seeds which can be collected and ground into flour. The flour can be made into crepes, biscuits, mixed with wheat flour and made into bread, or used to thicken soup. In Brittany, a delicious and very filling porridge is made by stirring buckwheat flour into hot milk. The variety we grow is called Medawaska, and it is well suited to colder climates. Some other varieties of buckwheat can be roasted and cooked like rice. In Russia, cooked buckwheat is fried with onions to make a hearty dish called Kassia. Young leaves of the plants can be cooked like spinach. The plant has broad leaves and can be sown as a green manure to suppress weeds. Buckwheat is highly nutritious, and chickens love it. It also attracts hoverflies which are very useful insects to have around, as they feed on pests such as aphids.
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