Tahoka family growing closer, harvesting most expensive spice in the world

Meraki Meadows grows saffron in Tahoka
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 9:44 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Karl McDonald wanted to start something he could leave as a tradition for his kids. In 2020, while everyone was stuck at home, he took that as the perfect time to start something new with his family. He started Meraki Meadows, a farm in Tahoka that grows saffron.

His family says there were challenges in the first year, but now, in their third harvest, business is blooming. Braxton Beck says the company has grown tremendously over three years.

“There was one day we harvested probably 2,000, 3,000 flowers in one day whereas compared to the first year it was probably that over the course of the whole year,” Braxton Beck said.

Once saffron flowers are picked, they have to be processed within 24 hours. This year, the family found their limit. Karl McDonald says they had more flowers picked than they could process in a day.

“That was a bit eye-opening and awakening to understand. All right, what do we do in the next years to come because it’s grown to that point,” Karl McDonald said.

They are all learning together as a family, and Brazos Beck says they are spending a lot more time together.

“There’s actually a lot of family bonding when it comes to saffron because we have to pick together, we plant together, we process together...all three of those steps is just extremely time consuming,” Brazos Beck said.

Lyneli Beck enjoys spending quality time with her family while she can.

“While it’s not always enjoyable to be picking and processing, it does make us stop and have to get it done and it does allow us some time that’s quickly coming to an end as they get older and get ready to graduate,” Lyneli Beck said.

While they don’t currently have any mechanical ways to harvest or plant saffron, Braxton Beck is trying to find a way to change that. With help from his family, he built a planter from PVC pipe and wood.

Meraki Meadows got its name from Brayson Beck, who’s in charge of social media and marketing. He says he started looking up random words and found the Greek origin word, Meraki.

“It’s described as putting something of yourself into your work,” Brayson Beck said. “Putting your blood, sweat, and tears all wrapped up into one word.”

Saffron can be used for baking and medical purposes. Now, the Tahoka family is learning how to keep the petals out of the trash can.

“And then we looked up some things and it said, ‘Hey you can use these petals and stamen for bath bombs and soap,” Adelynn McDonald said.

Adelynn McDonald says since they have the week off for Thanksgiving, she gets to help make the bath bombs.

All the products are sold on their website. One gram of saffron costs $55.