Harvest in Herat

Every fall, these amethyst colored petals spread open to resemble the shape of a teacup, revealing three bright red threads, known as stamen.  These cheerful flowers are collected and their stamens are delicately separated from the petals by groups of women gathered at a table in the rich aroma.  Afghanistan is now the 3rd largest producer of saffron, growing the highest quality grade in the Western planes of Herat.  Blooming only six inches above the ground, the harvest is back breaking work with a tedious processing to collect and dry the stamen without breaking their strands.

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