I have just been around Garden 21, a beautiful series of perhaps 6 or 7 rice paddies that we have converted to vanilla production. When we started, even though it was the rainy season, the ground was dry. But since then the paddies uphill have been planted, and there is continuous water coming onto the Garden.
We didn’t just lose young vanilla, we lost support trees. Nothing likes that sort of waterlogging.
Beautiful Bali understands water. I did not have to say a word. The workers just got stuck in and are fixing it. Dewo is busy digging ditches. Not just around each paddie, but between each row of trees.
On the upper fields, where his work is complete, you can see the vanilla thriving. This is young vanilla, less than 6 months. It will take a year to get to the top of the support tree, and another year to circle round and produce extra shoots, before it starts to get thick and ready to flower in year 3.
We don’t know how well it is going to do. Garden 15 is ex-paddie field and doing fantastic, but it is the top of the hill. We are expecting an excellent crop, providing we can control the moisture. We want plenty, just not right at the top! Humidity is good, waterlogging is bad.
Ditches solve it.
In the photos, you can see Dewo. Still unditched land. The main drain with wide ditches leading down to it. And land half and half.
Chairman at PT Royal Spice Gardens
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