That depends. It grows better as high elevation as it does. If you climb to the top of the world you can make a lot of money but that means you aren’t going for the best, you are looking for the highest, and the highest is where you want to be.
So for saffron growers, they can’t produce it to the highest or best altitude – all they can do is to scale it down or downsize their farms. The higher the altitude the more it takes up and it takes up more space. Now that’s all very different from what we’re talking about today.
Let’s say you grow three acres, it will take a total of five to six months of labor to grow a pound. You are going to have to put in three million work hours in order to produce four pounds of saffron. That works out to 10 to 20 days a month. If your average farm was 1,000 acres and you got to grow it to 2,000 acres a year, it’d take an additional four months of labor. Again, those are normal operating procedures for a small farm operation.
You can’t expect to get your saffron grown as quickly as you can produce it if you’re starting from scratch. It is very, very inefficient – even on the largest farms – to plant them at 10% to 12% yield. The more time you spend on the farm, the more money you have to buy.
Saffron isn’t as high, high altitude, or high rainfall as it once was. That’s why saffron is now produced in smaller farms, where you get to the high elevations and do what you’re supposed to do there, and the farmers can then scale up to larger farms – where you can then get high water runoff. If you put a lot of it in the ground and you scale it down slowly…it’ll still work.
One thing I wanted to do earlier on is to show you some photographs of the farms. It’s a great way to get an idea of scale, especially when you’re growing a small crop to feed to your sheep, horses or even cows.
Next month’s newsletter brings up some questions about farming, because of the nature of how we grow our food today. And there are still a few things we don’t know for sure. We don’t know the future.
But one thing we know for sure is saffron is amazing! So much so that saffron
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