The queen of spices is now growing on campus
The other plans we have for the project are also ambitious. We could create an acreage of up to one hectare for vanilla. The expected income would cover part of the high costs of our school. At the same time, numerous new jobs would be created several times a year. Some of these would be suitable for older people and people with disabilities, which has so far been the exception on campus. Since the physically demanding work in the fields and in the workshops is the norm here. There would also be new jobs for women from the region. For example, when pollinating, which requires a lot of manual dexterity.
So, let’s all keep our fingers crossed!
Tahitian vanilla (Vanilla tahitensis) is an evergreen plant of the orchid family. In addition to the classic Bourbon vanilla – which mainly comes from Madagascar, the Comoros and Reunion – the Tahitian vanilla is the second most important type for commercial cultivation, which is done almost exclusively for the extraction of the vanilla spice. The spice is obtained from the fermented capsule fruit known as vanilla bean. This forms after pollination of the flowers has been successful.
The flowers are traditionally pollinated by hand. The utmost haste is required as the flowers wither after just a few hours and it takes up to a year for the vanilla to form new flowers. The main growing areas of Tahitian vanilla are still in the South Pacific. Because of their aromatic properties, Tahitian vanilla pods are traditionally used primarily in perfumery. However, it is also increasingly being used in high-end gastronomy.