Buckwheat, although commonly grouped with cereals, is technically a fruit seed and belongs to a group of foods called “pseudocereals,” which are seeds that can be consumed as cereal grains but do not grow on grasses. Distinctive to Buckwheat is its triangular shape similar in size to wheat kernels. Grown primarily as a restorative crop in rotations, it grows quickly, suppressing weeds and improving soil structure. Typically grown for around 6-8 weeks before being incorporated into the soil as green manure, Buckwheat also has the biological benefit of being an excellent nectar source for honeybees. The ideal time for sowing buckwheat in New Zealand is from October to December, although this can vary depending on the location and climate.
Buckwheat is also grown for use in the health food market because of its unique nutritional composition and gluten-free status.