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Friends' Wednesday Night Talk - A Recipe for Growing Vanilla

Friends of Botanic Gardens Cairns


Started: 12 Jun 2019 18:00
Finished: 12 Jun 2019 20:00


Members of FOBC $5, Visitors $10

Learn all about the production of vanilla, one of the most labour intensive crops that exist, at the Friends of the Botanic Gardens June guest speaker night.

In their talk titled A Recipe for Growing Vanilla, Mirriwinni growers Fiona George and Matt Allen explain what brought them the industry and how they have developed the Broken Nose Vanilla Product range. 
The business did not have an auspicious start. One week after purchasing the five-hectare property under Mt Bartle Frere and its offshoot, Broken Nose, Cyclone Larry hit. They soldiered on and after Yasi in February 2001 went through the area, they had the chance to test their award-winning collapsible trellis system. 
It had worked and they became more confident about farming vanilla profitably in the cyclone zone. The product range was launched in May 2010. Exports to Taiwan started in 2017 with nationwide distribution in Australia beginning last year.
Their talk starts with a short history of a vanilla-growing tree-change for the couple and the challenges and benefits of a new crop. Then they move on to vanilla’s origins, growing conditions and the resources needed, everything from land and machinery to capital. 
Finally they look at how to build a value-added business from scratch, covering everything from developing products to marketing and distribution.
The event, to be held in the Gardens visitor centre on Wednesday June 12, starts at 6pm with a light supper. $5 for FOBG members. $10 for visitors.

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