We’re a couple of months into the harvest by now, and the beans are coming in strong. It’s been a season that starts early and ramps up slowly. The same is happening with the flowers: we got our first buds in late January, and although we’re pollinating every day, the number of flowers we’re seeing has increased slowly since then.
Unseasonably Dry Year
This year has brought an unusual period of dry weather, which is affecting everything around the homestead. Young vanilla plants are especially vulnerable and several columns in the new vanillery have suffered setbacks and failed to grow. We’re taking the unusual step of having to hand water to keep things growing. Mature vanilla plans are quite drought-resistant, but these new guys are having a hard time developing the essential feeder roots needed for that kind of robustness.
In the main vanillery, insect pests that usually don’t pose much of a problem are setting up shop and doing some damage. We’re taking care of that, but being an organic grower means that what we need to do takes more work and time. It’s all about gentle and persistent measures when you work with nature.
Yes, It’s Looking Great
Despite the challenges, in general the vanillery is thriving and healthy, plenty of beans to harvest for this year and the flower buds are everywhere, signaling another good crop in 2023.