The Ndali Estate is a 1000 acre farm set in volcanic soil in the tropics of Western Uganda. The farm specialise in the organic, Fairtrade growing and curing of fine vanilla, the best of which is sold as "Ndali" vanilla. Vanilla grows best in small-scale agro-forestry, it takes considerable time and care to produce the beans. Vanilla flowers the world-over are pollinated by hand to ensure a good crop since the very specific pollinating insects are not numerous enough to ensure this. So, the farmers must be on-hand within 8 hours of the flower opening to perform the delicate operation. After pollination, the beans then take 9 to 11 months to be ready for harvest at which point they are still green. Continue reading →
Vanilla extract is a ubiquitous ingredient in cakes - it's an ingredient in virtually everyone's kitchen. Why not make your own? It is really, really easy to do and you can customise it too. The extract takes about 8 weeks to make - no heating or factory processing needed here. The first thing you need to get is some attractive...