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A cute vanilla seller met during the lunch stop of my driver along the way to Andasibe.

Madagascar is the world's larger producer of vanilla beans. Vanilla is the only orchid that produces an edible fruit.

Originally from Mexico, vanilla was introduced to Madagascar during the nineteenth century, but without the native pollinators (bees and hummingbirds) local growers must hand pollinate the plant.

This makes vanilla perhaps the most labor-intensive crop in the world, taking as long as five years between first planting the vine and producing aged extract.
from http://news.mongabay.com/2005/0510-rhett_butler.html

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Additional Photos by Luca Belis (Mistral) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 527 W: 74 N: 2119] (15402)
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