Ally talks about Saffron Central
I started a radio show for Croydon radio
just over 3 years ago and its called
Made in Croydon.
It’s mainly about getting people
who are doing positive things in Croydon,
on as guests and they have to select tunes
and things and talk about whatever
it is they are doing.
When I didn’t have guests I was sort of
exploring Croydon’s history and stumbled
on the name possibly coming from the
Anglo Saxon’s ‘croh denu’ meaning
crocus valley. So I started a feature
on the radio called ‘crocus watch’
which was getting people to tell me about
crocuses popping up around Croydon
and sending me pictures.
Originally these were spring time crocuses.
I dug deeper into the history, and found out
that the Romans had farmed saffron here.
I was at the Ambition festival last summer
and I was in Queens Gardens and i heard
that the Taberner house site was
going to be vacant until the new year
and knew if you planted them in
August/ September they should be in flower
within about 40 days.
So i floated the idea to
a couple of people who were enthusiastic
about it and spoke to councillors
who put me in touch with the people
who are in charge of the Taberner house site,
they liked the idea and allowed us into the site.
In total we picked 11, 000 flowers
so in theory we have 33,000 stigmas,
collectively the weight is 58 grams.
And as a rule of thumb
Saffron is worth about £10 a gram.