Sunday, November 02, 2008

Season of crocus (saffron)...

Dear All,
Today I am posting pictures of crocus in our garden in Sheki...
My parents are just back from Sheki where they went particularly to gather saffron (crocus) in our garden. Saffron flowers emerge if I may say daily during months of October-November and one has to gather them every day. Now my parents are back in Baku but we have relatives who continue gathering the flowers daily.
Saffron as you may know is another very special and unique miracle of nature. During Soviet times it was considered as a strategic product and it was not allowed to grow it openly and widely. After the collapse my dad bought kilos of crocus bulbs (or onions I am not sure) and planted them not only in our garden but also gave many onions (bulbs) to our relatives to plant. They say Absheron is better for crocus as its climate is dryer but it grows very well in Sheki as well from what we see in our garden, also considering that we do nothing other than clean the weeds and reap the harvest :)
These pictures have been taken and e-mailed to me by my close and dear relative in Sheki, Narmin, who enabled me to write about saffron today. Thank you for your thoughfulness and help, dear Narmin.

Every flower has only six stamen. Three yellow and three red (the ones that we mostly use). The richer the colour and taste of red stamen the better. It is a hard work to gather the flowers and then after to take out the stamen. Stamen is very light therefore to have a gram of saffron you need quite many flowers. Due to this hard work saffron is quite expensive in the world but still quite affordable in Azerbaijan. This is something else that our land grants to us easily here and I am not sure if we appreciate/realize this fact fully...

Harvest :) Part of it :) A lot will be used for plovs (meal from rice) and other delicious meals during the year.



babooshka said...

Fascinating to see the use of flowers.

heather said...

I read your page yesterday in Tuscany before I went out to gather the stigmas from our croci. So many differences between our worlds but such a wonderful flower in common. My very best wishes to you and yours

Hafiz said...

I was glad to read your blog.
I know someone in Zardab Azerbaijan, do they grow saffron in Zardad
looking forward to your response

Ayten Qiyas-Rustamova said...

Hi, Hafiz. I wouldn't know for sure but it should grow in Zardab too...

Hafiz said...

Hi Ayten,

We are interested to market Saffron from Azerbaijan into USA.

Could you forward me if possible names and contact details of vendors/dealers of saffron.

Language may be an impedement, you see I have a family member in Azerbaijan who speaks Azeri well.

If you so wish you can e-mail me at

Thanks and Regards