I'm José Luis Hernández Decuir. After 10 years of observation we discovered "the truth about vanilla". After many hours, days and months of observing and reflecting, I decided to publish my discoveries:
Vanilla native to Mexico from tropical forests and Central America
Vanilla is an epiphytic climbing plant, grows on a tutor, belongs to the family of orchids, is cultivated because it gives its fruits (benefited), it produces flavoring and flavoring compounds, it is the only fruit of the orchids that has consumption .
Xanath means Flower in Totonaco but it is specified to the flower of the Vanilla, in the Totonacapan there are several species of the vanilla:
- The Planifolia
- Donkey Ear
The only commercial and most aromatic is the Planifolia.
In Mexico, vanilla was used for the first time in pre-Hispanic times as a flavoring, flavoring in chocolate drinks used by several indigenous cultures; Aztec, Mayan and Totonac.
In pre-Hispanic times until 1836 in Mexico the fruits came from the harvest, attributed to the natural pollination made by the bee (Euglossa Viridissima).
Mexico lost the monopoly of the vanilla trade by discovering the technique of manual pollination in Belgium in 1836, thanks to the fact that this knowledge other countries began to produce vanilla and in a very short time the production of the French colonies mainly Madagascar.
In Mexico in the times of Porfirio Díaz from 1870 to 1909, he invited French, Italian and Spanish settlers to the Totonacapan region to establish themselves in order to exchange customs, agricultural cultures, in which the merchants arrived, which was the important link for the commercialization of the vanilla comes to this region citrus fruits, grafts, pastries, milk production and cheeses.
They teach the natives to domesticate the vanilla plant to manually pollinate and commercialize it. Papantla and Misantla were the producing areas, but Papantla was the best for its climate and not so rainy.
The large indigenous commercializations began abroad, they cultivated and harvested it in green fruit and the Europeans and Creoles the benefit and commercialization abroad. Houses like Gaya, Tremari, Chena, Del Cueto, etc. Until declining and production was reduced in the 1960s by synthetics and the great trade in the Totonacapan region ended in great commerce, now it is an artisanal trade, production is maintained but at a low level there are technified government projects, with shaded mesh, with irrigation; also the endemic tutors have replaced them with orange, colored or pichoco and provides compost made by manure organic matter, sawdust, vermicompost and the plants have been placed at a height of 2 meters for manual pollination.
The decrees for the benefit and commercialization have changed them from November 15 to December 20, at this time there are many nortes, the cloudy and rainy weather, for these reasons they get into ovens accelerating the benefit.
THE TRUTH OF THE VANILLA
Our observation is based on finding the origins of vanilla that have already been forgotten as in pre-Hispanic times.
Seedlings of 80 centimeters distance of 4 meters their development with Endemic trees (in acahuales after using the land in milpas) are sown, it is better that the vine grows natural, that goes up or down, the endemic trees give a partial shade in all the year; on hillsides their development of tutors is slower and provides an abundance of organic matter in a few words if it is not cultivated and left natural it is much better. At 3 years it is allowed to flower.
Flowering begins at the end of April. April means opening the flowers, we have a Gregorian calendar that the Romans named the months.
The flower is ephemeral, it starts to open at 4 o'clock in the morning and by dawn it is already open waiting for the bee (Euglossa). Another factor that helps is the hot and dry weather. It favors and makes birds sensitive to flowers mainly Chichalacas begins to eat the flowers in the infloration and when they get tired of consuming the latter are pollinated by the bee, it is always observed that the last flowers of the pots are pollinated an approximate 1 5 pods per plant few fruits are collected each pot has an approximate between 1 to 30 flowers approximate.
The orchids are the lying flowers not visited by the Percolating bees or the Melipona, nor the Apiuropean, nor the hummingbird and the butterfly, the flowers do not have nectar. In the Totonacapan region there is an Endemic Pecoriadora bee that produces honey. The Totonacas domesticated it and cultivate it in pots or jars. It does not have a sting. This percolating bee does not look for orchids. The Totonac Indians stir the honey with the pollen that makes it an agri-sweet flavor.
Orchids are differentiated from other flowers by their sexual organs, they need the bee or special bumblebee for their size and color.
The Planifolia for being pale green arrives the green bee Euglossa and the Pompona that is yellow and for being bigger the bumblebee arrives or Xicote with the yellow tail. Xicote means bee or bumblebee.
He looks for it by its aroma or hormones, when introducing the flower and when it leaves it makes the sexual stimulation to the flower.
There was not the Apieuropean they brought it later, this insect does not look for the orchids because it is a pecorder.
In the natural pollination begins to develop the fruit, the best time to collect the best quality fruit is until next year at the beginning of April.
The benefit in April is much better, the weather favors these dates and there are no nortes and the temperatures rise to 30º C helping a faster and better benefit, some fruits are frosted or crystallized by the high content of oils.
The fruits harvested are called Macrobiótica meaning "when the man does not cultivate, he only gathers"
Macro - large
Biotic - function of a living being
In the past, the Totonacas collected ripe vanilla fruits and in this way the Aztecs knew it as a payment of a tribute. Later the Spaniards arrived, they know it, they appreciate its aroma and later it is taken to Europe and it is spread all over the world.
Our observation now consists of taking care of the orchid of the predators, which are the birds mainly of the Chichalaca, so that they let the euglossa bees and the bumblebees naturally pollinate them in an abundance of flowers and see how much their production increases.
This writing I do on April 26, 2015, within a year I will obtain the result of the production in the Ecological Reserve "Xanath" Papantla.
It has been observed that very mature and fallen fruits revisit their respective insects.
José Luis Hernández Decuir