In March, researchers at the University of Vermont held a saffron workshop attended by about 60 people in person and another 60 online from all over the country. A UVM saffron email list has 700 members, and the university runs the North American Center for Saffron Research and Development for growers, marketers and buyers from around the world.
“Every year more people are contacting us,” said Margaret Skinner, a research professor at UVM’s Department of Plant and Soil Science.
She sees saffron as a way to diversify agricultural businesses, a top priority for Vermont policymakers who are trying to retain and bolster the state’s agricultural economy. “Our interest is to meet the needs of growers in Vermont, the nation, and internationally.”