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Food/gardening question: crocus sativa

Does anyone grow their own saffron? Can you use C. cartwrightianus or other crocus to get a true saffron? I'm in zone 6 . . .

asked by Sadassa_Ulna over 5 years ago
9 answers 12188 views
6f614b0c 899e 467f b032 d68711f70a39  2011 03 07 18 28 41 870
added over 5 years ago

I have crocus sativa growing in my garden (zone 4 to 5). You do need to get this variety. I bought mine on line from White Flower Farm: http://www.whiteflowerfarm...
They're very easy to grow!

6f614b0c 899e 467f b032 d68711f70a39  2011 03 07 18 28 41 870
added over 5 years ago

Here's a picture from my 2010 harvest, LOL.

1420d9c0 2355 407d a9d2 f19f782d0c7c  saffron crocus

C45c94a0 2e08 45bf a73c 4235d1b3c4bb  image
added over 5 years ago

H.A.N.D. : love the photo!

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 5 years ago

I hope you have an acre of land to work with because the stamins from one flower don't add up to much. It's probably 1/4 acre for one paella.

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added over 5 years ago

Yes, three stamens per flower and a two-week blooming period offer serious challenges to "harvesting." I was poring over plant catalogs and wondering if it were even possible. I found this very informative:
http://www.saffron.com...

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 5 years ago

I grew my own for many years in Massachusetts. I'm pretty sure I got mine from White Farm as well. I didn't plant any 1/4 acre of land, but rather I tucked them in anywhere I could find a little space in my herb garden. As the flowers began to bloom, I'd check each day, cut out the stamens, and set them in a little dish to dry. I got about enough for one paella each year, and as long as I was vigilant about harvesting, the quality was excellent. It was pretty fun.

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 5 years ago

White FLOWER Farm, of course. And Helen's All Night Diner picture is spot on!

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo
Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 5 years ago

One more little thought and maybe an additional encouragement: the saffron crocuses bloom in the fall rather than the spring, making them an especially fun flower to have in your herb garden, even if you doubt your abilities to keep up with the stamen-by-stamen harvest.

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added over 5 years ago

Yes Greenstuff, I totally agree! I love gardening and probably would collect stamens for fun, as I collected seedheads and weeded and everything else . . . I was looking over fall-blooming bulbs and there are some very pretty crocuses (crocii?) to choose from, but the sativa got me to thinking. Coincidentally the sativas are less expensive than the others . . . I love White Flower in general but I happened to be looking at this: http://www.brentandbeckysbulbs... That's why I also asked about C. cartwrightianus, which I will order even if it doesn't . . . "yield" ;)