GROW YOUR OWN SAFFRON
In late July, plant the Crocus sativus bulbs (corms) 4in (10cm) deep and 4in apart in welldrained soil in a sunny spot. Lift and divide up the bulbs every three years or so. This will enable them to multiply.
As soon as the crocuses flower in early October, pick each flower by hand.
Wearing latex gloves, use a pair of tweezers to pluck the stigmas carefully out of each flower. Ideally, this needs to be done on the same day the flowers are picked, as saffron can deteriorate very quickly.
After harvesting, fold the strands in a piece of kitchen roll and dry in a warm room for several hours until the saffron is brittle.
Store the saffron in an airtight container in a dry, dark place. It should keep its flavour for at least a year.