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Chia or Salba - Salvia hispanica

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3.5 grams - $1.95
7 grams - $3.65
14 grams - $6.95
28 grams - $13.45
Salvia hispanica

Chia is a member of the mint family native to the regions between Central Mexico and Guatemala.  It is estimated that it has been cultivated for nearly 5,000 years. The 16th century "Codex Mendoza" and "Florentine Codex" provide documentary evidence that it was extensively cultivated by the pre-Columbian Aztec civilization.  Some researchers conclude that it was as significant of a crop as maize in these cultures.

Referred to as "the running food," Aztec warriors ate chia seeds in preparation for battle.  The seeds are very nutritionally dense containing high levels of easily digestible protein, omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron, and many more nutrients.

Although North Americans began learning about Chia from the "Cha-cha-cha Chia," Chia Pet television commercials in the 1980s, we are only now beginning to explore the dietary uses of this ancient "warrior food."

Chia plants grow twenty-four to thirty-six inches tall and produce many clusters of white or light-purple flowers in mid to late summer.  Chia prefers a location providing full sun and that has sandy or loamy, well-drained soils.  Do not over-water. 

It is a tender annual that is hardy in USDA climate zones 9 to 12 and will not tolerate frost.  Since it requires a fairly long season to produce seed, starting indoors and transplanting after all danger of frost has passed is required.  Germination occurs in seven to fourteen days at soil temperatures between 60ºF and 77ºF.

As a relative newcomer to the North American gardening market, we are still experimenting and learning about Chia ourselves.  Each gram is approximately 700 seeds.

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