Planting is done in July, August and September either by hand or by machine, and harvesting comes at the end of October to mid -November, roughly eight weeks after planting. Saffron crocuses are sun-worshipping plants so they love to be planted in the dry open fields rather than in the shade.
Morocco is known for their abundance of spices, particularly saffron . Unfortunately, saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world because of the enormous amounts of labor involved.
Harvesting and Storing Saffron Carefully – take your time please – pluck each stigma from its flower. Don’t rush or you could tear the flower, though this shouldn’t harm the plant. Your stash of stigmas will need to be dried before storing.
Saffron is grown in Spain, Portugal, France and India, producing fragrant lilac-colored flowers about 2 inches (5 cm.) long.
Once you have purchased the saffron crocus bulbs, you can plant them in your yard. As they are fall-blooming crocuses, you will plant them in the fall, but they will probably not bloom the year you plant them. Instead, you’ll see foliage in the spring, which will die back , and saffron flowers the following fall.
Since such a small part of the flower is used, it takes 75,000 saffron flowers to make one pound of saffron spice. The small amount of saffron spice per plant, along with the fact that harvesting must be done manually, leads to saffron’s being majorly expensive .
Saffron , the most expensive spice, is usually sold by the gram – just a small cluster of slender red threads in a tiny glass bottle. At the Spice House in Chicago, owners Tom and Patty Erd sell a gram of superior grade saffron for $6.79, and an even finer version, known as coupé grade, for $8.29.
While the myths arouse discord, there’s one item of consensus: Kashmiri saffron is the sweetest, most precious spice in the world. Its strands are thicker and more fragrant than its counterpart from Iran, which accounts for more than 90 percent of the world’s saffron production.
Planting Saffron Crocus Corms: In areas where Saffron Crocus are reliably hardy—USDA Zone 6 through 8 in the South, 6 through 9 in the West—you should plant the corms as soon as you receive them. Saffron Crocus do best in full sun and well-drained soil that is moderately rich in organic matter.
Depending on the type of the Saffron and where it was cultivated, 1 kilogram can cost anywhere from $1300 – $7500.
On top of that, saffron flowers (which need to be hand picked) only bloom one week per year and typically produce just three usable stigma threads per flower. Pound for pound, saffron is literally more expensive than gold .
Just like pretty much any spice, saffron is best used as soon as possible for optimal flavor and potency. And as long as you take good care of the spice, it will last many months or even years past that date. If there’s no date on the package, you can assume it should retain most of its taste for 2 – 3 years.
Saffron carries a high entry cost, but in subsequent years this crop with three marketable elements can provide a big profit margin. Saffron is the most valuable spice on Earth. It can sell for $10 to $20 per gram. (Gold was recently trading around $40 per gram.)
Saffron crocuses are not a difficult crop to grow . They’re propagated from corms, a fleshy bulblike root that’s planted in summer for an autumn harvest. You need to have reasonably warm and dry summers and autumns, although a little rain is fine. The hard part is making a profit from the saffron you harvest.