1. Wash the saffron leaves and set on a baking sheet, covered, with an inch of water. Turn the leaves over and place the second inch under water. Cover the saffron with another inch of water and let it sit for 1 hour.
2. Remove the saffron from the water in half-hour intervals until its water content has decreased by 25% (the water level may decrease after a rain or if the saffron stops absorbing moisture).
3. Once the saffron has stopped absorbing water, place it in a clean container and shake until dissolved. This may take up to a day. Remove the saffron from the container and then set aside to dry. You should wait up to an hour before using it.
How long will the saffron last? There are several factors that affect what length of time saffron lasts. The drying time is the most important factor and this is also an age-dependent process. If you decide to put it on the shelf before having it fully dried you should wait 2 to 3 months before storing it. If you put it on the shelf when it has to get it’s water content up before being used, it may take up to 6 months before you can use it. It can last longer if you let it sit longer and in the winter the color is darker.
3. How do other herbs get similar amounts of water? Herb growers like lavender are often in competition with other plants for watering, so many herb farmers use lavender during the growing season to maintain the moisture level in their beds.
4. What about the leaves?
5. What happens if I don’t want the leaves? To prevent over-drying, it helps to keep your herb plant covered. It’s easier to store your herbs if they are covered at the top and bottom. To do this, you have to leave the leaves on the outside and cover the top of the plant with a blanket or sheet. However, it is easier to do this if the herbs are in different beds if there is a way for you to transfer the herb plant to that bed without having to put the covers on the herb. However, if you do that it will be impossible to get the leaves out from that bed.
5. What about other herbs that get similar amounts of moisture?
6. How do I store my herbs while on the shelf, so the leaves don’t stick?
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