Tuesday, October 14, 2008


This is a picture of 80 stigma from saffron crocus flowers. It takes approximately 570 of these to make a gram of the dried spice. Which means that I have what will be 14% of a gram of saffron from this years harvest, so far. Luckily, there is more to come.

A picture of the flowers, once I’ve finished the harvesting. Because I don’t destroy the flowers, nor upset the pollen, I can work along side the bees, they don’t seem to mind me, which is pretty cool. And, since the flowers are sterile, in any case, I am not interrupting the lifecycle, either.

The first batch of saffron incense smelled right, but wasn’t the right proportion of saffron to makko, and the cones would not stay lit. I ended up burning them on charcoal, which allowed the new moon/new year ritual to go on, but wasn’t the point of making the incense, as opposed to simply putting the plant matter on the charcoal. The second batch was much better. The scent was only slightly more subtle, but the cone stayed lit and burned thoroughly. Eureka!

Off to do some more research on the ancient associations with saffron, to add to the personal and more modern ones. But I think I have a winner, here.

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