Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Harvesting Saffron

Harvesting saffron is time consuming and can be a test of patience.  I've looked as several sources but there doesn't seem to be an agreement on when saffron is supposed to flower.  Some say it flowers in the fall, some say in the spring and others say it flowers both times.  I can say for certain that mine does flower in the fall since that's when it flowered for me but I have yet to see it at all in the spring since I planted it this year and last spring it wasn't in my yard.
Unfortunately I only had one flower show up.  Again sources are divided as to how long it takes new plantings to flower but I hope more flowers will follow this early bloom.
After harvesting, large batches are heated on a very low temperature, sometimes dried in the sun or over a candle.  I can only guess that this preserves the flavor and color while preventing it from deteriorating from the moisture.  Since I only got three threads I didn't bother yet worrying what to do with them.
All of the bulbs seem to have divided and I might have do dig some of them up and replant so they aren't so crowded and can keep dividing. This will probably be a summer project when they go dormant.