Growing Saffron in Utah.
Yes, I grow saffron and I grow it in Utah. Everyone may think it is one of those things you have to spend big bucks on and that if you live a local only lifestyle you must forgo altogether, but neither is true. It’s cheap, grows well in Utah, tastes every bit as good as the stuff from Spain and nothing is more local than your own yard.
Saffron corms can be purchased everywhere from Amazon.com to nurseries that supply them over the internet, Willow Creek Gardens has a good selection of them and I would trust them more than the Amazon sellers. I personally got mine at the Farmers Market several years ago and paid about $5 for 30 of them.
The key to growing them is to plant them in a part of your yard that never gets any water other than rain water. They will sprout and bloom in the fall after the September rains arrive and then grow through the winter to die off in June or July.
Once you have your corms go find a sunny spot where the dirt can’t be cracked with a shovel and bang out a shallow area about 3 inches deep. drop in your corms and cover them up. I did it in August the first year. I also cover mine with about 2 inches of mulch.
DO NOT WATER THEM! EVER!!! Wait for the September rains to come….. when it does you will soon see little green shoots.
About three weeks after the green shoots appear you will have flowers with stamens You can pluck the stamens and leave the flowers. Everday check for more new flowers and pluck the stamens. You will do this for 3 weeks or so. Each time you can set aside your stamens to dry on a paper towel. When they have dried you should move them to an airtight container for storage and don’t eat them for a few weeks. When fresh, they are tasteless and they will develop the earthy aroma and taste over time. They can be stored for about 2 years.