Because of its small seeds (less than 1 mm diameter), a handful is enough to sow a large area. Traditionally, Teff was broadcast by hand by traditional farmers when the ground was wet in the Spring. It then naturally sprouted laying on top of the ground, put roots down, and would begin to grow.
Teff is noted for its high quality and yield. It is also known as an “emergency crop” because it is planted late in the spring when the growing season is warmer, and most other crops have already been planted. Teff is also valued for its fine straw in traditional cultures, which is mixed with mud for building purposes to make an adobe-type brick. In the US, it is grown in Idaho (sold as “Maskal Teff” by The Teff Company) and in Oregon (by Camas Country Mills).
Teff is very nutritional, being high in dietary fiber, iron, protein and calcium. Protein is about 14%, which is even higher than modern wheat varities! The seed is very small, which makes cooking faster, thus using less fuel for rural peoples. Since there is no gluten in Teff, it is very easy to digest for people who are gluten intolerant.