Organic Vanilla Cultivation – Part 1

A Vanilla Saffron Imports, rain forest conservation project for all farmers anywhere in the world. (copyright Vanilla Saffron Imports 02/03)

Written for Vanilla Farmers anywhere in the world. Our aim is to show you how to conserve the forest by attaching the vanilla vines to existing trees: Orange, coffee, lemon, cocoa. Vanilla vines will attach to and grow on almost any native tree in the rain forest. This is how the Totonaca Indians of Mexico did it; they did NOT have plantations. Do not cut the forest to plant vanilla vines; it does NOT WORK. If you cut the forest to plant, your vanilla vines WILL dry out because the temperature will go up. You MUST conserve the forest canopy to have a “humid/hot/wet” environment where the vanilla vines will thrive and your production will come in faster and bigger. By conserving the forest canopy you also protect your vanilla beans from hurricanes during the typhoon season and the flowers from falling during the rainy season. Remember, once the flowers (orchids) fall the beans do not grow anymore.

Remember every time you cut a rain forest tree or any tree you are cutting 26 kilos of green vanilla beans, no tree, no vanilla beans. We only buy directly from farmers or farmers cooperatives that are committed to save our forests, our PLANET. If you are a middleman do not contact us we only deal with farmers, farmers cooperatives committed to save the planet.
We do NOT buy any wood products, gold or minerals of any kind!

Case study

An Old (40 years old) orange grove in Mexico is converted into a Vanilla Orchard Production. 47 trees are in production at an average rate of 14 kilos of green beans per tree.

COMPOST is one of the most critical components of good vine development. If your soil is poor you must use compost. Even if your soil is good an rich you should still use some sort of compost to help your vines stay strong. The compost in picture 1 and 2 is 40% goat or lamb and 60% sawdust. (Make sure the wood has not been chemically treated and has no residue “arsenic”). Keep the compost mix covered; it should be ready and PH balanced in about 3 months or when you find plants and/or worms, it’s ready (see p2). During dry spells cover the compost at the base of the vines with large banana leaves to keep the moist in; let the leaves rot. Note good application of compost to base of vines P4. In P3 collect all leaves and material from the farm and make another compost; leaves have a lot of potassium that is good for the vines.

The development of thick and strong vines depends on good “black” soil. If your soil is brown or “weak” you can help it with compost. The only way you can fight vine disease “fusarium”, “bugs”. To get a good harvest and guarantee survival of the vines is by good soil and natural compost. A good sign that you are doing a good “nutritional” job on your vines is THICK DARK GREEN LEAVES AND SHAFTS