Karkam Safran de Provence

Country: France

The Company

In Barras Village, in a typical Provence farm, the traditional agricultural production of saffron is done and explained by Guilène, landlady and property owner, during guided tours, sensory workshops and training sessions throughout the year. The site is both a dwelling place and a B & B, in an old fashionned restored stone Bastide, together with an organic farm. At 700m in altitude, the house optimally integrates into the landscape of the Duyes Valley, among hills and valleys.

The product

In Barras village, the Beauduns’ cliff is settled with successive low stone-walled terraces locally called “bancau”, facing south, hosting Crocus sativus crops (saffron) belonging to Karkam Company. These small and delicate plants open out in early autumn. New mauve-coloured corollas open each morning at daybreak. Tedious picking of the precious pistils lasts only a few weeks. Then the flowers die and the bulbs remain for a long dormancy period in the ground, until next autumn. Terraces are left free for flowered fallows. Crops are growing on top of a thick detrital fluvial series called Valensole Conglomerate. Between “poudding stone”, sands and clay deposits, the countless pebbles illustrate the southern alpine geodiversity submitted to strong erosion during the Late Cenozoic. These rocks provide dry well-drained soils, conducive to saffron cultivation.

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