UVM 4th annual workshop on Saffron production and marketing, March 12

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The North American Center for Saffron Research and Development at the
University of Vermont (UVM) is hosting the 4th annual workshop on Saffron
production and marketing on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Burlington, VT.
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, with a retail price of over
$5,000/lb. It is made from the stigmas of a fall-blooming crocus flower
(Crocus sativus), and is used as a culinary spice, coloring agent and
medicinal herb.  Saffron is a high-value crop that could significantly
strengthen sustainable agriculture, and preserve the rural working landscapes
of North America.

Since 2015, UVM scientists have been studying the cultivation of saffron in
protected environments and in open fields. They have obtained yields greater
than what is reported in traditional saffron-growing areas of Asia and
Europe. Hundreds of farmers across the US are now growing saffron with great
success, and they are eager to learn more. Saffron experts from Vermont and
Rhode Island, and growers from Vermont and Maine will share their knowledge
on production. Specialists will speak about post-harvest handling regulations
and a cancer specialist will discuss saffron medicinal properties. Both
on-site and on-line registration options are available. To learn more about
the workshop and to register, go to the UVM saffron website at:


WELCOME to our 2020 Workshop!

The North American Center for Saffron Research & Development is a collab-oration among growers, researchers and marketers involved with saffron in the US and beyond. This event will provide information about how to grow, handle and market saffron, and updates on current research. It is for anyone growing, selling or studying saffron now or hopes to in the future.

The Major Speakers:

  • Hassan Ashktorab, Professor, Howard University, Dept. of Medicine, Wash., D.C., spoke last year on medicinal uses for saffron. This year he will talk about his work on its anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Sid Bosworth, Agronomist, Ext. Prof., UVM, has over 35 years of experience with field/forage crop management. He will share information on weed control in saffron.
  • Chris Callahan, UVM Extension Ag Engineering & Hans Estrin (UVM Exten-sion Produce Safety. Chris focuses on engineering to enhance ag. production. Hans runs VT-CAPS, a VT specific community accreditation program. Both are involved with the UVM Produce Safety Program.
  • Rahmatallah Gheshm, Post doc, Univ. of Rhode Island, has many years of experi-ence growing saffron in Iran, and has done research at URI for 3 years.
  • Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani, Research Assoc., UVM, has been working on several research projects to develop the potential of growing saffron for farmers.
  • Brian Leven, Golden Thread Farm, has been growing saffron for 3 years in the field and within high tunnels in northern VT.
  • Jeff Marstaller, Cozy Acres Greenhouses produces greenhouse ornamentals, and 3 years ago started growing saffron in tubs in his greenhouse in North Yarmouth, ME.
  • Patti & John Padua, Cobble Creek Nursery, have been growing saffron in the field for 3 years to diversify their nursery production, and their yields keep growing.
  • Parker Shorey, Lemonfair Saffron, VT saffron grower and marketer, launched his saffron company in Dec. 2019, selling saffron online and in NYC.

Workshop Organizers:
M. Skinner, B.L. Parker C. F. Sullivan, A. Davari,
P. Reese, M. O. Tracy & A. Ghalehgolabbehbahani
Univ. of VT (UVM) 661 Spear Street, Burlington, VT 05405-0105 Tel: 802-656-5440

Individuals requesting a disability-related accommodation to participate should call Cheryl Sullivan: 802-656-5434 by March 1, 2020.

Davis Center
Silver Maple Ballroom, 4 th floor
UVM Campus,
590 Main Street Burlington, VT 05405
On line attendance is also available.
Registration Fee
Attend on site: $80 incl . handouts , coffee and UVM handling fees ). Bring your lunch or add $12 for lunch by UVM pizza , salad, drinks ,
dessert Attend

On line: $87 (incl handouts video costs & handling fees).
To ensure a place, register early.
Pre registration required.
March 4, 2020
The registration link will be activated in the first week of February:


If on line registration presents a problem for you, contact
Cheryl Sullivan, Email: cfrank@uvm.edu ; Tel: 1 802 656 5434


Workshop support provided by: Univ. of VT Extension System, UVM College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, USDA Hatch Program; Peck Solar.


UVM's Margaret Skinner and Arash Ghalehgolabbehbahani inspect a saffron planting.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 8:00am