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Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Saffron and Solar Farms

Saffron crocuses blooming in a raised bed within a Peck Solar array in New Haven, VT. Image: A. Ghalehgolabbehbahani, UVM.

A Win-Win for the Environment and Agriculture

Margaret Skinner, Bruce L. Parker and Arash

Ghalehgolabbehbahani, who demonstrated that saffron could be profitably grown in Vermont, have teamed up with Peck Solar to test the potential of growing saffron in their Vermont solar fields. Saffron is a fall-blooming crocus, and corms planted in September are now flowering. In the first year after planting, corms produce only a few flowers, but in future years they bloom abundantly. A Vermont grower who planted 2,500 corms in 2017 has harvested over 5,000 flowers this year, which produced over 30 grams of saffron. She sold her crop for $25 per gram for use by a New York City chef who valued the high quality and Vermont-grown brand. Peck Solar, a South Burlington, VT based company, is working with farmers around Vermont to help them capitalize on the value of their land through construction of solar arrays. Saffron could add even more value to farmers from the solar fields. This is just the first year, and the cooperators expect an even more abundant harvest next year. The best is yet to come! More information on UVM’s saffron research is at: https://www.uvm.edu/~saffron/ or contact Margaret Skinner at 802-656-5440 or mskinner@uvm.edu.

Margaret Skinner, Bruce L. Parker and Arash are University of Vermont researchers.

 

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