farming

 

I'M CRAZY ABOUT FARMING…

 

Place presentation:

 

 

La safranière de Val - Photo: J.Bichon

We planted our firsts 400 bulbs in 2006-2007. Then we’ve developed planting to grasp at best planting, farming, weeding, uprooting, and harvesting.

 

We use no weed killer products; weeding is only mechanical during the length of vegetative sleeping, or handmade or even thermic. No need of fertilizer. Just a contribution of manure of horse is made.

 

Our safraniere is inside of an old vegetable garden, part of a common property surrounded by walls, protected from winds, high frosts and pests. There is just a wire fencing around the safraniere to avoid damage of game.

 

 

Working during dormancy in summer

Working during dormancy in summer

Safraniere in middle of vegetation in February

 

Safraniere in middle of vegetation in February

Flowering

Flowering

 

 

The plant :

 

 

herbier safran

Saffron is the only spice of flower origin: they are 3 stigma of flower of Crocus Sativus L that we delicately collect.

 

Crocus Sativus L is a plant with bulb from family of iridaceous which looks like a clove whose flowering takes place between end of September and beginning of November.

 

Cloves are planted from end of June to beginning of August in a well draining clay-chalky soil with sunny aspect, 15-20 cm deep.

 

Crocus Sativus is a plant with reversed vegetation: flowers appeared in October while vegetative period goes from October to May. Safraniere stays during 3 years, and then is pulled up; bulbs are divided then replanted on another parcel to avoid spreading of disease.

 

Fleur en bouton

 

Flowers are fragile and live only during between 24 and 48 h. Every morning, flowers are delicately picked in bud, hardly in full bloom to preserve integrity of pistil.

 

Pruning will come quickly during the day and consists in separating full pistils with 3 Fila from the rest of the flower.

 

 

Then will come drying: delicate operation which conditions organoleptic quality of saffron and its preserving: we use for it a dehydrator with plateau which allows saffron in 20-25 mn at 55°C to lose 80% of its weight.

 

 

Planting bulbs in June

Planting bulbs in June

fresh Fila

fresh Fila

dried flowers and saffron

dried flowers and saffron

 

 

You need 150 to 180 flowers to make 1g of dried saffron. This one will reveal its fragrance as it will have been dried and will be consumable 2 months after its harvesting. Storage will be done in an airtight jar sheltered from air and humidity.

 

 

"Made of fine flower of wheat mixed with nice hubs of eggs and butter, saffron, spices, and water."

Rabelais