Canva - Persian Saffron, Spice, Orient, Market, Spice Stand


Saffron is an ancient and valuable spice. It’s first mentioned historically about 3000 years ago and is said
to have been used by Cleopatra in her baths.

Today it is mostly grown in Persia, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Greece although there are several other places that produce it.

There is not a lot of it grown in the USA and is extremely expensive to buy at retail, about $20 a gram.  The University of Vermont is spearheading an effort to produce saffron in the United States.

A couple of years ago, we tried to plant and grow some in the Community Garden section of the Desert Botanical Garden.  The first year, of the 40-50 corms, which look like but are different from bulbs, our effort did not produce any flowers.  We think we planted them too early before the heat before the heat of the summer waned. The second year, from the same corms, we produced about a gram of dried saffron from the beautiful flowers that grew.

There are only a couple of people we know who are trying to grow it in the Sonoran Desert; however, we have proven that it will grow here. It can be a significant cash crop as a plot about 10 square meters can produce about $3000 worth of stamens.  Don’t hold us to that number.

We have a benefactor who will provide healthy corms to interested parties at no cost while supplies last.  Suggested means for planting will be added to the packets.  If these pilot projects are successful, there will be opportunities to attempt to bring saffron up to scale.

If you are interested in growing saffron and participate in this endeavor, please email Jerry Estruth at and put Saffron in the subject line.

If we’re successful, we can market it as

Genuine Sonoran Desert Saffron.

Image result for BIOFLORA Soil amendments

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BioFlora brand soil amendments are now available for distribution to all Valley community gardens & school gardens.
FREE and available now at the on-site community garden at Desert Botanical Garden. Contact David Hill for pick up.
Each case contains 4 one-gallon liquid containers, or 12 one-pint liquid or one-quart liquid containers, or 4 seven-pound shaker containers of Dry Crumbles.
Approx. 40 cases: 8-3-6 + 8% Ca Dry Crumbles fertilizer
Approx. 325 cases: 1-2-1 Plantalizer Gallons
Approx. 10 cases: 1-2-1 Plantalizer Quarts
Approx. 45 cases: 1-2-1 Plantalizer Pints
Approx. 40 cases: Soil Source (humic acid) Gallons
Approx. 110 cases: Seaweed Crème Gallons
Approx. 20 cases: Seaweed Crème Pints


fullsizeoutput_4a5David Hill, Coordinator of the On-Site Community Garden at Desert Botanical Garden and founding member of Community Gardeners of Maricopa County, has been named to serve on the national Board of Directors of the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA). David will be representing the West region of the ACGA.