Saturday, November 23, 2013

Vanilla vine, egg fruit and black sapote.

This week Cory finally found time to work on some of his plants with Gener and Yvon.

With wet warm weather and a busy schedule some of the plants got a bit out of hand.

This spring when Cory needed to climb a ladder to attempt to pollinate the blossoms on his very tall vanilla bean vine he remarked that he should take down the vine, cut it into pieces and replant so that the flowers and eventually beans would be easier to reach.

One flower successfully pollinated and set a bean which fell off the vine while we visited the USA.

This two year old vine climbed 35 feet into the tree before Cory removed it.

He divided the vine into 4 foot sections to be replanted around posts or trees.

A second vine climbs up the back shed but so far no bean pods produced.

Not easy to produce your own vanilla pods but having processed chocolate our first year in the north Cory needed a new challenge.

We like vanilla so easy to support him on this project !
Some facts about vanilla:

  • Comes from the orchids of the genus Vanilla.
  • Second most expensive spice after saffron because of the labor-intensive process.
  • Indonesia and Madagascar leads the world in production of vanilla.
  • Up to 95% of 'vanilla' products are artificially flavored.
  • Hand pollination needed as natural pollinators are rare.
  • Vanilla beans take 6 months to ripen on the vine. Needs to be picked when end starts to split.  

Egg Fruit.
Black Sapote

Soon to be harvested:

Pollination in early April 


Missus Wookie said...

That's taking the 'make your own vanilla extract for Christmas presents' theme I keep seeing amongst friends thisyear a wee bit seriously...

But fascinating.

Kris Thede said...

Ha Missus Wookie. Would be a few years out from gifting any home grown vanilla. First we need to get more than one bean!