There’s a saying: Flowers grow out of dark moments. Geoff and Jude Slater can attest to that.
The couple were living in Christchurch in 2013 when Jude suffered a sudden and severe stroke which nearly cost her her life. Following her recovery and nine months of intensive rehab, the need for a change in lifestyle and time together became very apparent. So the couple moved to a 4 hectare block in West Eyreton and planted 6,000 saffron corms.
Demand for their quality product was so great that they have continued to expand each year since. Their saffron stigmas are renowned for their quality and are tested to international standards every year to ensure they meet the Premium Grade 1 level that their customers expect. By not blending their saffron, Geoff and Jude can assure customers that their saffron is a 100% pure Canterbury product, grown and harvested from their West Eyreton property.
The sale of saffron corms has also taken off, with punters knowing the corms supplied by Geoff and Jude have the potential to grow the same top quality saffron that the couple produce themselves. The pair also sell grow-your-own saffron kits and gift boxes and have more recently started producing saffron-dyed wool.
With the planting, harvesting, processing, marketing and selling involved, Canterbury Saffron is a full time job for the Slaters and a far cry from 2013; their dark moment from which thousands and thousands of saffron flowers have grown.
Why North Canterbury? North Canterbury has the perfect soil and conditions for growing premium grade saffron.
What’s your favourite thing to do in North Canterbury? Go to farmers markets and field days.
Name your three favourite North Canterbury brands: Mitre 10 mega, Percival Street bakery, Farmers.