Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world. And a cultivation with a lot of manual work in growing, pollinisation, harvesting and curing. Vanilla flowers contain both male and female organs. A fine membrane separates the stigma of the flower from its rostellum and therefore needs to be lifted by hand while the flower is gently pressed to pollinate the flower. This delicate operation is performed in the early morning hours from the end of March to the beginning of May.
For each large flower cluster, no more than 5-10 flowers should be pollinated as the fewer green vanilla beans that form, the longer the vanilla beans can become. A fresh vanilla pod is fleshy and light green, grows up to 15 to 25 centimeters long and contains thousands of tiny seeds.
But even then the vanilla is far from ready to give off its unique aroma for ice cream, desserts and perfumes as the green vanilla beans do not posess any aroma yet….but this is a story on it”s own.
Here we like to share a video in slow mow to show you how hand pollinisation is done in Mexico.
But we also have natural pollinater living nearby – the stingles bee melipona for example.