Vanilla Pod Cultivation
Vanilla pods don’t just come off the vine black and shiny with distinct flavour and aroma. They start out green with very little fragrance requiring to be transformed through a labour intensive process to bring out their unique properties.
The process to hand pollinate each individual flower, harvest the mature pods and undertake a four stage curing operation makes vanilla cultivation the most labour intensive crop in the world.
A vanilla orchid flower will only bloom for one day requiring constant monitoring of the plantation so that no flowers are missed for pollination. On a typical vanilla planation up to 2,000 flowers need to be hand pollinated each morning.
Fragrant Vanilla Pod Cultivation
Vanilla grows best in a hot, humid climates in regions that have a consistent 30°C day time temperature and around 80% humidity. Moderate rainfall levels are also required spread evenly through 10 months of the year. These climatic conditions naturally occur within 20° of the equator.
Loamy, loose soils with a high organic matter level are ideal for growing vanilla. The soil needs to be adequately drained with an ideal pH of around 5.3. Depending on the soil properties the use of organic manures as a natural fertilizer can be beneficial.
The process to hand pollinate each individual flower, harvest the mature pods and undertake a four stage curing operation is explained further below.
Vanilla Flower Pollination
Vanilla Pods are one of the most exclusive spices in the world, primarily due to the extensive labour required to grow and process the Vanilla.
It’s cultivation is a long and labour intensive process taking eight months, from when the farmer hand pollinates each flower, to when Vanilla Beans are ready for harvesting.
Green Vanilla Cultivation
The plant that produces vanilla is from the orchid family and is a herbaceous vine that is perennial climber living in tropical areas where the temperature ranges between 21 to 30 degrees.
Vanilla beans are picked while they are still green and have to be cured to create their distinct vanilla flavour and smell.
Vanilla Pod Harvesting
The vanilla pods are harvested as they ripen once their colour changes from dark green to light green with a yellow tinge.
The pods then undergo several stages of processing including classification into length, scalding in hot water, curing in sweating boxes and sun drying before they are ready for packaging.
Vanilla Pod Curing
Once the vanilla has been scalded in hot water and transferred into a wooden box lined with a blanket for sweating, they will attain a light brown colour and start imparting aroma.
At this point they will be spread in the sun for drying during the day and repacked into sweating boxes each night for a 14 day period.
Our Vanilla Pods
Natural Vanilla Store sources vanilla pods fresh from the largest plantations in Indonesia, Madagascar and PNG. We frequently airfreight new stock into our distribution office and guarantee our vanilla is fresh and highly fragrant.
Through our long association with the agricultural industry we are able to source some of the finest vanilla pods with dark oily texture and strong vanilla fragrance.
We offer a selection of the finest quality vanilla products through our online store. We have experience in sending vanilla pods all around the world and are able to quickly fill all domestic and commercial orders.
Cultivated in an organic manner without the use of artificial fertilisers or pesticides.
Purchased following principles and practices prescribed by the Fairtrade organisation.
Vanilla orchids grown without any form of genetic modification to the plant genes.