Artichokes — yes, if you start with two plants at the recommended distance apart (these are too close) and leave till next year, you can harvest (if you remember) forever after. Low maintenance, they’re just fancy thistles. Eeyore was no fool.
No horses — this was once a working farmhouse, where each horse would get through a set of shoes every six weeks (they all do? I didn’t know), and presumably also lost them like babies with socks. Or the enraged farmer threw them at the new-fangled American squirrels that had started their invasion.
Uses for saffron… delicately flavouring and colouring risotto (or just plain rice), cakes & buns, probably others that I will find out about. The incident in the link happened to me too: the “saffron” was turmeric, a powder ground from a dried root which has its uses (colouring curry) but isn’t saffron. “But it’s the same” — er, no, it’s not.