One thing I love about gardening is that you are forever learning. There’s too much knowledge for one person to know everything so there’s always something new to find out.
I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about herbs until I found out from Suttons that you can grow your own saffron in this country. I wrongly assumed it was something only grown in India and imported. It’s also pretty expensive stuff to buy, I think more expensive weight for weight than gold. Luckily you only need very small quantities, one gram can flavour and colour 10 plates of food.
Now we’ve rarely used saffron, even when cooking Indian meals, due to the cost but that will change now I’ve found out it’s good for your vision. My spectacles are pretty strong to say the least! They say:
The University of Sydney has found that many patients had improved vision after taking a saffron pill. It is believed that saffron affects the amount of fat stored by the eye, making vision cells ‘tougher and more resilient’.
Grow Your Own Saffron
Suttons have started selling Saffron Crocus bulbs so now you can grow your own saffron in Britain. Their bulbs are unusual in the fact that you can plant bulbs in August and you will have beautiful blooms in only 4 – 6 weeks. You don’t need a lot of space, as they will thrive in a well drained border, but can easily be grown in pots on the patio as well. This species of crocus is also super tolerant to summer heat and winter cold as it originates from the Himalayas.
Harvesting Your Own Saffron
Harvesting your own saffron is easy. Once your blooms have grown, look out for the red saffron ribbons dangling from the throats of the crocuses. Just snip them off and then, once cut and dried, they can be stored for months.
Getting Your Saffron Bulbs
They recommend ordering before the end of June for August delivery and harvesting your own saffron in October. Each pack comes with growing instructions and recipe leaflet.