How Black Cumin is Harvested in Afghanistan
Our team is absolutely thrilled to announce we will be returning to Afghanistan this summer, but this time we will not be returning to the saffron sprinkled fields of Afghanistan. Instead, our team will be traveling to a completely new part of the country to meet with a set of new farmers and foragers for the annual black cumin harvest.
Wild Harvested Black Cumin
As many of you know, fall is the peak of the saffron harvest season, which is why in November, our team usually travels back to the saffron fields of Afghanistan for about two weeks to witness the annual fall saffron harvest. However, this summer we will be able to witness the black cumin harvest.
This particular variety of black cumin is only found in this isolated corner of Afghanistan. You will recognize it as cumin but it is nothing like you've tasted before. It is extremely flavorful and has woodsy and pine notes. Like our saffron a little goes a long way. The Afghans consider this wild black cumin the top quality, compared to our common cumin which would be considered bottom quality. The black cumin has a long history of use in both culinary and medicinal traditions. Since black cumin plants are annuals, they readily reseed and can sometimes become overgrown and even weedy in certain areas.
Unlike our saffron, which is grown and harvested on saffron farms, our black cumin is grown in the wild and is hand-picked by farmers and foragers in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan. Although these plants grow in the wild, they are still carefully hand harvested and processed by Afghan women in the Badakhshan province who forage the foothills of the mountains.
Rumi Returns to Afghanistan
We are thrilled to be able to witness this special event that only comes around once a year and we are looking forward to meeting up with friends, farmers, and colleagues all while meeting new faces and forming brand new relationships along the way.
By harvesting a new crop, our team is able to work with new farmers and new women in a different area of Afghanistan. This gives us the ability to impact other areas of the country and spread our mission of cultivating peace.
As we prepare for our trip and the annual black cumin harvest, we want to send out a very special thank you to all of our Afghan partners for all that they do. We cannot wait to see you all soon! We also want to thank you, our Rumi Spice community. Without you, we would not be able to lay the foundation for peace one saffron flower (and now black cumin) at a time.
Help us empower women, families and farmers in Afghanistan by supporting our mission here.