Saturday, October 24, 2009

Local Saffron? I Haz It!

After nurturing (or ignoring, depending on who you ask) these saffron crocuses for 2 years, we're getting flowers! Each flower will yield three measly stamens of the revered saffron.

Someone tried to burst my bubble the other day, telling me that I could buy a huge bag of saffron for $3 at a Persian grocery market, but he failed to quell my excitement. I've never claimed that my hobbies save me money or time. I could buy a $15 sweater at Old Navy or a $2 loaf of bread, but would it have soul?

Near the bottom of the picture, you'll see some little gem lettuce growing. Huh? Little Jonny Salad Seed thinks that any empty pot needs a sprinkling of lettuce greens, and he must have forgotten that the "empty" planters actually held my revered crocuses.

My other exciting crop is some mystery choy from my grandmother's seed collection. No one knows exactly what type of choy it will yield. Choy sum? Bok choy? Who knows? Who cares? We eat it all over here. Since my grandmother passed earlier this year, one of my aunt took it upon herself to divide up my grandmother's seed collection - all harvested old school from plants she let go to seed - so we could all try our hand at growing some of her wonderful vegetables in her memory. I'm going to try to cultivate the seeds from these plants, too.

PSA: If you live in or around Berkeley, it is a great time to grow salad greens, parsley, cilantro... We had a great yield last year that lasted us all through winter.


  1. That is totally awesome. And hell yeah, you should grow your own. You do it for the same reasons you hand knit something you can buy at Target for $7.99.

  2. My favorite saying is, "I could knit that sweater for three times as much!" and mean it.

    Good for you for growing the choy. That would be so cool to have Grandmother's seeds, and we eat all kinds of greens here, too.

  3. How cool! It never occurred to me that you could grow your own saffron. (I'm sure it will taste much better than the $3 bag.)

  4. If you can buy a bag of saffron for $3, I doubt it's real saffron! I'm Muslim, and spend a lot of time in "halal markets" (that's where we buy our meat, which is similar to kosher), and I can tell you that even at these wonderfully "ethnic" places, saffron is STILL EXPENSIVE!

    I must say, I never thought to try growing it at home. You have inspired me. Where did you find this particular variety of crocus? I am going to have to do some research on this.

    Oh, and about your knitting; You have got some amazingly adorable pieces! I love the Le Mieux beret! Pity that my cat wold quickly end my life is I tried to put a beret on her! She truly is a "chat lunatique!" Perhaps I can knit one for my 2 month old daughter... She's still too small to try to maime me! heh heh :)

  5. I wonder, too, if the bag of $3 saffron is real. I'll have to check out the price at the halal market the next time I'm there to buy lamb.

    Our saffron crocus came from Park Seeds. It looks like they are sold out this year, but maybe another mail order place will have them?

    I bet your daughter would look super cute in a beret!



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