The beans we harvested late last winter have now cured and aged enough to be sold! There will only be limited quantities at first, as beans that were harvested later in the season are not done aging yet.
A Small-ish Harvest this Year
For probably several reasons, flower and fruit set last spring (2018) was not as strong as the year before. I don’t know if this experience was shared by other vanilla farmers, but we certainly had a lot of rain last spring. The current theory is that rain during the pollinating season can affect pollination rates.
Anyway, this year we are going to have something like 2/3 the amount of beans we had last year. And with less available stock, prices will inch up slightly. An ounce of grade A beans is now going to be $35, up from $33 last year.
Even with that, we still offer a really good price for Hawaiian vanilla beans compared to other growers in the state. We are a bit of an outlier in that we sell our beans by the ounce (instead of by the bean). This is because we want to be a supplier of vanilla to people who really want to use the beans, they are not just a souvenir.