As members of the armed forces, they served in Afghanistan. But while they were there, they fell in love with the beautiful country and the kind, generous people who live there.
Back home and adjusting to life after the Army, veterans Keith Alaniz and Kimberly Jung wondered how they could support the people of Afghanistan, particularly in parts of the country where a lack of economic opportunity pushes some toward the insurgency.
To create jobs and slow enemy recruiting, these enterprising veterans leaned in to one of Afghanistan’s most coveted exports: saffron.
Saffron is harvested from a type of crocus common across Afghanistan. The flavor is subtle and slightly sweet, and the spice is often found in dishes like paella and more adventurous offerings.
But the most notable thing about saffron is the price: It is one of the most expensive spices on the planet, with prices ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 a pound. That’s in part because the harvest process is exacting and time-consuming; it takes 150 flowers just to make a gram.
Hear from Alaniz and Jung about what they love about Afghanistan and why small businesses are a good fit for veterans.
Finding a sense of purpose after active duty is hard. These vets found it in an unlikely place: a saffron field.
Posted by Upworthy on Monday, October 2, 2017