This excellent pictorial from Venui Vanilla demonstrates vanilla pollination. This is the best close-up image series of pollination that I’ve ever seen. Click for a larger size.
Vanilla bean and extract tutorial. Spice gallery and reviews.
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Patrick at eurovanilla.eu sent this fascinating history of indoor vanilla cultivation in the Ukraine.
In earlier days, beginning this last century, there was actually a local company who had indoor growing vanilla, using wood stoves air systems to warm in the winter. They did exist for quit long time, until somewhere in the 1970′s…In those times, they even developed special blankets for special made drying rooms, where they dried the vanilla.
…in the Ukraine [indoor vanilla cultivation] is not really something new, it is more like re-introduction…
Here’s a few more links to vanilla growing and curing information.
Jags at Orchids Asia has an online, illustrated guide to vanilla growing and curing methods. This is an extensive vanilla growing how-to website that reflects Jags extensive experience growing vanilla in India.
Garth at Heilala Vanilla in New Zealand put together this great summary of vanilla literature. Garth’s paper has a little bit of everything about growing vanilla — from an extensive section on curing vanilla, to a lengthy description of the chemistry involved.
Starting a Vanilla Plantation
If you’re even thinking about starting a vanilla plantation, you must buy Piero Bianchessi’s Vanilla: Agriculture & Curing Techniques (2004).
The first section covers planting, propagating, and maintaining a plantation. The second section illustrates the curing and grading process. Full color pictures help identify common pests, diseases, and symptoms of unhealthy plants.
This is THE GUIDE to starting a vanilla plantation. Read more about it at the bottom of the Venui Vanilla page.
This video shows vanilla pollination in action.
These videos show vanilla beans being grown and cured, via the Malaya Spice/Rentak Timur website. These are not in English, but the video is interesting and many English words are used.
This youtube video describes a project to produce high quality organic vanilla in Indonesia.
via this Indonesian blog.