All Posts · French Life · Making and crafting

Saffron in the sun

From a wet start, and a trip into our almost local town of Boussac, north of us, the sun shone and lit up a gloriously Autumnal day.  The road back home has a sign right pointing to Toulx Sainte Croix, a high point, almost a mountain, where a few weeks ago we found a wonderful restaurant, frequented by locals, who pack the tables all weekend for the local speciality of moules frites – mussels, fondue and home-cut chips. Of this gastronomic delight another time.

En-route we drove past meadows, forests, tiny villages, crunching over horse chestnuts on the road, thousands of them.  The air smelt of moss, aging leaves and bracken growing golden and russet.

Turning a tight bend in the road, a splash of lilac and purple caught my eye.  We pulled over and found ourselves outside Pierre Jaumatres Saffron farm.  A vehicle must have dropped the surplus flower petals on leaving and the entrance was strewn with them.  Being the ever resourceful, I grabbed a bag and scooped handfuls from the damp grass.

Back home the saffron petals, somewhat soggy by now, were laid out on paper in trays and placed in the sun.  Today, changing the paper, they are drying, and luckily we have full sun.  The intention is to create potpourri, as we have a cupboard full of essential oils we can use.

Our area is so full of wild plants that can be dried, or used for dye.  The saffron petals dyed the paper vivid jade green with flecks of turquoise and purple, and a few orange specks from the actual saffron stamens that remained – the ones you can use for flavouring and colouring.

If the petals dry sufficiently to create the potpourri, I will put another photo on the blog.  If not, the poor old things go to the composter for a different lease of life!

Judi Castille Close up saffronJudi Castille Druing saffron



9 thoughts on “Saffron in the sun

  1. I read a fascinating book a year or so ago about the saffron trade in Cornwall and that of Morocco. I must say, I had no idea that there are farms here in France. Good booty, I say … I hope you do get them to dry to pot pourri because it will be SO pretty but as good composteurs I note with delight that there is no risk that they will be wasted. It sounds like a lovely drive through the turning landscape.


    1. Yes I was very excited to find a saffron farm and in such a lovely area. We like taking to the hills and it gives a contrasting day out to meadows and cows. Here we see hawkes and falcons. I am going to visit the saffron farm to se what products they have. Do you remember the book title you read?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes I was very excited to find a saffron farm and in such a lovely area. We like taking to the hills and it gives a contrasting day out to meadows and cows. I am going to visit the saffron farm to see what products they have. Do you remember the book title you read?


    3. It does seem my saffron was too soggy and hasn’t made it through the night 😦 so compost it is…BUT the dye from the petals onto paper is perfect for photo backgrounds, so not wasted. I am learning food photography (very slowly) and these could be usefuf where I need some colour. I really love hand printed papers, and a topic I want to expore and try and work into the floral photography. Ideas, ideas…must get organised!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, the paper is a wonderful gain and I do take my hat off to you even trying to learn food photography. I’m entirely hopeless, but then I don’t claim to be any sort of photographer in reality. Myopic point and shoot is my genre! Organised will some over time – you have achieved much in a short time in France and there are only so many hours in each day 🙂


      2. The paper came out nice in the end, and I used it for a background to a herb photo I worked on today. Food photography is really hard. Some photographers seem to really get the right angles, but I am a bit hit and miss for now. I think with the huge changes I have over the last few years I somehow want to make up for lost time. I started many projects and had to put a lot on hold, which is frustrating. The move to France is a chance to resurrect them and chip away day by day till somehow you realise you are finally doing what you want to be doing naturally, everyday and enjoying it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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