By early November, many farmworkers including women and men are getting involved in the intricate process of saffron harvest, a product also known as the “Red Gold”. Planting this purple flower and harvesting its precious product has a long history in Iran and the country is considered the first producer of saffron with 350 tones a year.
There are loads of tips and tricks in cultivating saffron from selecting the crocus for cultivation, proper soil, water, and weather to picking the lovely flowers and drying the stigmas to keep the high quality.
Saffron harvest is the most difficult and at the same time the most sensitive stage of saffron cultivation. The harvesting stage includes picking flowers and separating the stigma from the flower. The life of the flowers is usually between 3 to 4 days and if they are not picked in time, they will be rotted.
Saffron grows in arid and subtropical regions. However, it grows better in areas with moderate climates, dry summers, and mild winters. If the flowers are exposed to hot weather, wind, and sunlight for a long time, the color quality and aroma will be reduced, the time of harvesting and drying condition will also strongly affect the quality of saffron, the flowered are usually picked early in the morning when flowers are still buds or semi-opened so that the stigmas are less damaged. Today, saffron is among the most luxurious souvenirs of Iran.
Enjoy watching this amazing video of harvesting and drying saffron in Iran.