Buckwheat is a flowering plant and not related to wheat. Its flowers produce tiny seeds that can be eaten and ground to produce flour. It is a good cover crop and provides a good source of nectar for bees.
It is an ancient crop that is widely cultivated everywhere in the world, particularly Russia and China. Although buckwheat was extensively planted in South Africa a few decades ago, it has since diminished in favour of other crops that can provide grazing as well.
Buckwheat has once more started to attract the attention of consumers keen on gluten-free grains.
By Marinda Louw