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Croydons name derives from the Anglo Saxon 'Croh Denu' meaning "Crocus Valley". It is widely believed that Saffron was farmed here by the Romans.
Croydon Saffron Central is a pop up Saffron Farm that will spread its corms throughout every ward of the borough after its first harvest.
Friends of Parks & Community Groups will be invited to take the Crocus Sativus to their respective wards where they can cultivate & distribute in their local communities.
Every Croydonnian should take pride when they see a Crocus in bloom, but especially when it's a Crocus Sativus (The Saffron One!).
This project is an community educational tool as the Saffron Crocus blooms in the Autumn & not the Spring.
Now is the time to plant the corms and reap their golden stigmas!!
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Few people are aware of The origins of Croydons name nor its significance as a settlement to the south of London.
The Crocus Valley brings not only beauty but a chance to boost health & prosperity in every home.
More valuable than gold & with more positive health benefits than there's room to mention.
It is quite staggering that nobody has thought to farm this jewel on mass & share it with the good people of Croydon Town.
Inspired through research & a regular feature called 'Crocus Watch' on Made In Croydon at Croydon Radio. It's simply too greater opportunity to turn down when land in central Croydon - at Croydon Councils former main office - is made available for a temporary Saffron Farm!!
Steps to get it done:
We will need volunteers to help prepare the site, plant the corms, harvest the saffron & distribute the plants.
Every ward in Croydon is welcome in equal measure!!
About the space
Former Croydon Council office Taberner House
London Borough of Croydon
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Hello everyone, I would like to invite you to a celebration event at Croydon Saffron Central on Thursday 23rd June from 2pm-8pm. Chefs from Croydon College will be baking up Saffron cakes, buns & biscuits for your consumption. We hope to have some drinks available too! We will be selling Saffron in .25g bags and would like to offer the donors, supporters & volunteers the opportunity to reserve some. All income will go back into the Croydon Saffron Central project. Croydon Saffron Central has had a bee hive in place for the past 6 weeks and we have a number of bee friendly plants on the brink of blooming. We also have the RHS visiting on the 27th June so it would be great for you to all see what you helped create!! There are still some restrictions on numbers in the Saffron Central site so please book in a time slot in hourly blocks. Please email me at ally_mac22 (at) hotmail.com I hope you are well and look forward to hearing from you, i'm sorry the invitation is such short notice but hope you will be able to come and see us, Best Wishes Ally
I took a trip to see Malcolm John today at Brasserie Vacherin with 3 bags of Saffron. One from an International Spice trader, one from Croydon Saffron Central & one from a fine Iranian supllier, check out the results as Malcolm didn't know which was which..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4IsxCW-yvE To update you on the project, we have shared over half of the plants with Community Gardens, Schools & Community Groups. Permission has been given for us to remain on the site through the summer so we are now turning our attention to The Bees & the creation of Croydon Bee Haven. I'm not sure about generating income via Spacehive and am hoping for donations of equipment required to make it all happen. this includes Heras fencing, soil, wood chips, bee friendly plants & seeds, timber to create a lean to for water collection, water butts, lots of paint & brushes so we can fill the site with pretty flowers. Croydon Beekeepers Association will be bringing a bee hive to the site, what we need now are flowers to keep the bees happy and perhaps some Saffron honey could be on the cards? I have not forgotten about the party for donors, helpers & harvesters and am in the process of trying to book something. If you would like to be added to the mail list please contact me at ally_mac22 (at) hotmail.com
The decentralisation went well on Saturday on a bitterly cold day. Around 40% of the sites plants were shared with Friends of Parks, Community groups and some residents. If you know of schools of community groups that may like some please contact me at ally_mac22 (at) hotmail.com Nice bit of coverage from London Live over the weekend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRml0B60zpw and the RHS put us on the front cover of there Grass roots Magazine!!! https://www.rhs.org.uk/communities/pdf/aff-socs/gc-newsletter/Grass-Roots-Winter2015 I'd like to thank everyone again for supporting the project , i had no idea that it would get such positive praise & generate such a warm feeling from the community. It has been a truly magnificent experience.
We will be sharing the plants from Croydon Saffron Central across the borough on Saturday 16th January from 10am-4pm. As set out in the Spacehive Crowdfunding, we are prioritising with Community Gardens & Friends of Park groups across all 24 wards of Croydon. We will then look to schools & community groups if the groups above do not request plants. There are also some pots that can be shared with funders & people that have helped put everything together and harvest over the past 4 months. If you're free to help clear the site, share the plants or would like to take a pot home please email me at ally_mac22@Hotmail.com
Just a real quick post to say i was interviewed earlier by Martin Stew at ITV London and the report should be broadcast tonight between 6pm-6:30pm. This is what some folk would call "Channel 3".. Apologies to anyone outside of the London region who can't access it, i will try and post a link when one becomes available.
I must apologise for not posting in the last 2 weeks. Harvesting started last weekend and i'm pleased to say that all Saffron presented was picked up to Sunday 1st November. We've running a tally chart and have picked over 8,000 flowers which means around 25,000 Saffron Strands. After a wee bit of scrutiny, i'd like to inform that we are harvesting "Pushal Saffron". This means we are harvesting just below where the 3 saffron strands connect. The reason for this is that many folk want to see thousands of Crocus Sativus in bloom & the rather brutal harvesting technique of de-heading flowers didn't feel appropriate on this occasion. Harvesting continues over the weekends:- Saturday - 10am - 4pm Sunday - 1pm-4pm Weekdays 1pm-2pm This weekend is looking soggy so i hope start earlier on Sunday. If you'd like to help please email me at ally_mac22 (at) hotmail.com