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Contents

Section 1: Introduction: Warnings, Glossary and History

1.1

Introduction: The Vanilla Handbook

4

1.2.1

Glossary: Vanilla Cultivation

6

1.2.2

Glossary: Vanilla Curing

7

1.3

The Vanilla Journey

8

1.4

Foods that use Vanilla

10

Section 2: Botany, Ecology and Species

 

2.1 Vanilla Botany

11

2.2 Vanilla Ecology

17

2.3 Vanilla Species

18

Section 3: Vanilla Cultivation Techniques

 

3.0

Vanilla Tools

20

3.1

Vanilla Work Calendar

21

3.2

Vanilla Activities

22

3.3

Plot Preparation

24

3.4

Support and Shade Choice

29

3.4.1

Planting the Support Tree

32

3.4.2

Shaping the Support Tree

34

3.5

Vanilla Propagation

40

3.6

What is Mulch?

44

3.7

First Looping of the New Shoot

48

3.8

MAINTENANCE

50

3.8.1

Maintenance: Grass Cover

50

3.8.2

Maintenance: Looping and Mulching

52

3.8.3

Maintenance: Pruning the Support Tree

58

3.9

FLOWER INDUCTION

62

3.9.1

Hanging and Tipping

64

3.9.2

Shade Reduction

66

3.9.3

Follow-up Activities

68

3.10

Pollination

70

3.10.1

Post-Pollination: Young Bean Selection

76

3.11

Harvesting Vanilla planifolia

78

Section 4: Vanilla Curing Techniques

4.0

Curing Vanilla: Introduction

82

4.1

Curing Tools

84

4.1.1

Curing Work Calendar

85

4.2

Sorting and Grading

86

4.2.1

Water-killing

88

4.2.2

In-Box Starting

90

4.3

Sun Curing

92

4.4

In-Shed Curing

96

4.5

Sorting and Bundling

98

4.6

In-Box Conditioning

99

4.7

Selling Vanilla

100

Section 5: Diseases and Pests

 

5.0

Diseases and Pests: Introduction

103

Section 6: Appendixes

 

6.1

The Vanilla Market by Andrew McGregor

108

6.2.1

Estimated Work Days for a 100 plant Vanilla Plot

116

6.2.2

Estimated Work Days for a 1 hectare Vanilla Plot

117

6.3

Frequently Asked Questions and a few numbers

118

6.4

Most Common Farming and Curing Mistakes

119

6.5

Vanilla tahitensis: Harvesting and Ripening

120

6.6

Vanilla tahitensis: Killing

123

6.7

Vanilla Grading

125

6.8

Why are my vanilla beans ‘reject’ quality?

127

Bibliography

128