It's all, admittedly, a bit of a pain. The cold, damp winters of late caused many of Hulshizer's corms to rot underground. There's also the perennial threat of rabbits chomping off fresh shoots and vermin mining the soil. The country's last known commercial saffron grower, Martin Keen, a seventh-generation farmer who cultivated the plant for over a decade, told me that he simply gave up selling it commercially after voles wiped out his crop 11 years ago. Now, individuals like Hulshizer who grow it in their own gardens keep the tradition of Pennsylvania saffron alive, representing, with each harvested corm, a vestige of a fading American foodway.