British Columbia Sun

Abbotsford farmer states he’s first in B.C. to cultivate Saffron, the costliest-spice

Key points: 

  • Avtar Dhillion has almost 250,000 saffron crocus cultivating oh his field. 
  • Avtar Dhillion is shown at his saffron patch on his field in Abbotsford. 

Avtar Dhillion cultivated more than 250,000 croci in his farm: 

When Avtar Dhillion was seeking for a crop to grow at his field in Abbotsford, B.C., he thought, why not attempt the world’s costliest spice, Saffron. 

So Dhillion bought several crocus sativus bulbs, known as the Saffron crocus, from Kashmir, India, and sowed them o his 25-acre field. 

Now Dhillion has almost 250,000 croci in his crop at Ramsar Berry Farm. He trusts he’s the first farmer to sow and harvest Saffron in B.C., and one of only a handful of individuals to do it in the nation. 

When asked by the media, B.C.’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food stated it doesn’t know of any other fields in the region cultivating Saffron. 

“I want to do something different and profitable,” Dhillon told CBC Vancouver. “Nobody is growing here, and then I’m thinking, ‘Why can’t I try the saffron?'” Source –

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The field is a family affair, with Dhillion running the business with his brother and their families. They all stay together and everyone adds a helping hand when it comes time to collect the flowers and pluck the threads. 

“I’m very excited,” said Dhillon. “And local businesses from Vancouver, they are already approaching me to ask to buy local saffron.” 

Almost four businesses have already shown interest in the locally cultivated Saffron, he said. 

The Acorn restaurant in Vancouver is one of them. The Vegetarian has attention on local farmers and Foragers, intending to keep in the card local. 

“To have a farmer in B.C. who’s growing saffron means, suddenly, we have access to saffron. Whereas before, it would be something that we probably wouldn’t cook with, because we can’t get it in Canada,” said Kate Martin, one of The Acorn’s cooks.

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