Touring the Vanilla Garden
The plan for the day was to just take things pretty easy; to stay well rested before the race. I just went on a very short run to shake things loose—only twelve hours to go until the race. For the late afternoon we visited Provanille.
Provanille is a cooperative made up of 120 vanilla producers based in the eastern part of the island. It was first established in 1968 and continues to be active in all things involved in the farming and processing of local vanilla. The organization provides guided tours of the vanilla garden and workshops. Most of the vanilla available for sale in stores on the island is actually from Madagascar, so the local vanilla is better valued. The vanilla plants are grown in the island's forests, on unspoiled volcanic lava flow fields—a process that has been handed down from generation to generation.
During the tour, our guide explained to us how the vanilla is planted, how the pods mature, and are processed in the workshops.
If you want to see more, check out the company's website here.