Saffron growers look to get a foothold in the US

March 19, 2017 - 7:57 am

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — As spring crocus blooms approach, some growers are thinking about a fall-flowering crocus that produces saffron, the world's most valuable spice.

University of Vermont researchers have been raising the exotic spice now grown primarily in Iran and are encouraging growers to tap into what they hope will be a cash crop yielding an average of $19 per gram.

More than 100 growers — some from as far away as Indiana and California — attended a workshop hosted by UVM this month on growing saffron.

Patricia Fontaine of Palmer Farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island, attended the workshop and said she and her family are planning to raise saffron in a high tunnel, similar to a greenhouse, as UVM did.

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