As a woman and a lover of all things sweet, vanilla appeals to me greatly.
While doing a bit of research on the allusive Vanilla planifolia variegata (the vanilla orchid), I am discovering two things. A beautiful flat-leafed vine, which would be stunning hugging rows of trellises in my yard…and a daunting introduction to an intensely laborious hobby.
There are the years of growing (daily watering, weekly weeding and debugging, monthly organic fertilization) before the first pods even appear, delicate hand-pollination, not to mention a lengthy fermentation process to obtain those sticky black vanilla beans we all know and love.
Still not entirely discouraged by the prospect, I have been searching the internet for plants. I have found one supplier. ONE. With shipping, I am looking at a total of $30.00. Per plant. Not exactly the kind of startup financial obligation I had in mind. How many plants would be needed to fill my “plot”? Approximately 15? Yowza.