It works for us… but we know not many would choose this option. The Beck’s (Andy, Lyneil, Braxton, Brazos and Brayson) and the McDonald’s (Karl, Andrea, Kaden, Leland and Adelynn) have found living together works! Lyneil and Andrea are the family connection, sisters. Since our time at Texas A&M where we all met, we have followed each other around. Andy began a career with John Deere which Karl soon followed. At that time is was in Des Moines and, well, we lived together. After our paths took us different directions in careers we found ourselves both in west Texas and the opportunity presented itself again to live under one roof and we chose it. The circumstances the second time have been very different with both families having 3 kids of their own with differing interests. We choose to make it work! So how does that apply to saffron?
2020 was a year many want to forget. We chose to make a memory out of it and start something new! Neither of our families were wealthy land owners but we had 15 acres we wanted to make productive. After hours of endless research saffron came up… don’t ask us how. Maybe God put it in front of us. The research indicated that the spice would thrive in our climate and conditions; something not easy to find for dry, arid west Texas. We decided to give it a shot… well… sort of. Karl ordered 20,000 bulbs and the rest had no idea what he had signed them up for.
Braxton had a passion to do anything with equipment so he started out breaking the ground open. As it turns out, that is about the only thing you can do with a tractor as it relates to saffron. The rest of it was all by hand. We prepped the field and the bulbs all arrived around Labor Day. We constructed a rack to plant so we did not have to bend over which was 3 rows of 5 pvc tubes that would allow us to drop the bulbs in evenly spaced… pick it up… move it… and repeat about 1,334 times. We got them in the ground and waited…
Near the end of October we finally started to see some sheaths start to pop out of the ground. Then the blooms came… first a few… then 100, then 300, then 800, then 3000… Every couple of days we would harvest, each bloom by hand. We all remember the day there was 3000.
Each day we harvested we were reminded… this crop is expensive for rather obvious reasons. Each flower we picked… it had to be peeled apart and the stigmas (red strands) removed carefully. Yes… a few… then 100, then 300, then 800, then 3000… It was a painful learning curve. But we wouldn’t change it! Well, at least some of us wouldn’t.
After we dehydrated the stigmas we had a beautiful product we are now ready to bring to you!
So, that’s our story so far. Where did Meraki Meadows come from? Great question!
Meraki means: to put some of yourself into what you do. We struggled to use our family names in some combination to name our farm so we started searching for something that was characteristic of the work we do. This was more of a “life” word for us. We all put our heart and soul in to everything we do… church, family, sports, school, fun and now saffron! It fit! It was us! We hope that you find every gram of saffron to be the absolute best because we put ourselves into making it the best we can!