Gulzar Ahmad Kuchay has been farming, harvesting, and promoting Kashmiri saffron — identified to be the most efficient number of the spice — for over 30 years. Each autumn, his circle of relatives comes in combination for the once a year saffron harvest within the Pampore area of Kashmir, and embark at the subtle and lengthy means of getting ready the spice, which is able to promote for up to $3,400 consistent with kilogram.
After planting seeds in rocky, dry soil in August, Kuchay sees his saffron vegetation sprout all through October and November. All the way through the harvest, Kuchay and 5 to ten of his members of the family select masses of vegetation by way of hand, and spend the nights keeping apart the petals from the stigma that holds the saffron.
The saffron then will get added to an earthen clay pot, which is crucial to the drying procedure because the pot naturally absorbs moisture with out destructive the spice. The saffron is unfold out on a wool sheet to dry within the solar for 2 days. The dried saffron is shaken thru a strainer to take away any last items of stigma or additional husk, and packaged to be offered. Kuchay and his circle of relatives repeat this procedure a number of occasions per week, till all the crop has been picked and processed.
“That is our inheritance — our grandfather, his father, my father,” says Kuchay. “I’m additionally proceeding this industry so our children, babies, get excited within the season of harvest.”