Vanilla Workshop @ Santa Lucia
Earlier this month several members of the Santa Lucía community and neighbors got an introduction into the cultivation of the Vanilla orchid (Vanilla odorata). The workshop was organized my our friend Ana Mariscal of the Cambugán foundation and the trainer was Ruth Cayapa of the Kallari Association. We got trained on the right growing conditions and how to plant the orchid and also got an introduction into the history and the experience of the Kallari association with regards to the comercialization of the vanilla.
The idea of producing vanilla in Santa Lucía or more likely in the Nanegal came from Fiona Matthews and María Clara Castellanos, two professors of the University of Sussex. On goal is of course to provide the Santa Lucía with an extra source of income and another is the scientific research. For one we don't know whether they orchid will adapt to the climatic conditions of the region (it has so far been grown mostly in warmer and dryer climates) and we are also curious whether any natural pollinators can be found. In most production sites the orchid is pollinated by hand.
We have also received 20 plants which we have planted on several sites where we will observe the adaptation process of the orchid.