Mgambo Village

meet the farmers

Mgambo Village is situated deep inside Unguja’s countryside and is relatively inaccessible, so you need to hike up on foot to his farm, as the terrain is just too difficult to drive by car.

Our vanilla farmer is Omar, and his farm is located here. Nestled in the rolling hills of central Unguja, his land is abound with hundreds of beautiful old mango trees, as well as plenty of coconut trees.

Unlike your standard commercial vanilla farm, Omar’s hand-tended vanilla plants are grown directly on his mango trees. He found that the vanilla thrives on these particular species of tree and grow better there than on any other trees.

The cultivation of vanilla can be difficult and labor-intensive. The plants do not actually produce any vanilla flowers for several years after they have begun to establish. When they finally do bloom, these delicate orchid flowers only stay open briefly and need to be carefully hand pollinated to trigger the vanilla bean growth.

Nurtured and propagated from one small cutting of wild vanilla orchid, Omar has cared for and tended these plants for years to be finally able to product a healthy crop of precious vanilla beans!

We can attest that his lush vanilla bean orchids are the most impressive collection of the plant that we have ever seen! We were lucky to be able to purchase his first ever crop of vanilla, and now we hope to continue to support Omar and his family for years to come.

Karibu, welcome!

I am Omar

Omar’s is our vanilla farmer, and his beautiful vanilla bean orchid crop is located in the rolling hills of Mgambo in Zanzibar’s central Unguja region. He runs a small farm here, together with his family where they not only grow vanilla, but mango trees and coconuts too. His small hold farm is so remote that it is impossible to get there by car and can only be accessed by hiking on foot.

Omar had always wanted to grow vanilla but was never able to afford to buy vanilla plants due to their price. Then, one day whilst wandering amongst some old ruins in the forest, he came across a hidden treasure – a thriving wild vanilla plant!

He decided to carefully take a cutting with him, and after many years of propagating, nurturing and tending these orchids, he now has over 100 healthy and luscious vanilla plants, all derived from this single cutting!

Habari, hello!

My name is Saeed

Omar’s son is Saeed, and along with running the farm with his father, he hand-tends and  pollinates every single precious vanilla flower individually by hand, in order to allow them to create a fruitful  crop of vanilla beans. Buying these vanilla beans will support this family and allow them to continue to perfect their vanilla.

As growing vanilla is a new venture for them, the family has taught themselves how to process their vanilla by watching videos and are still honing their vanilla processing skills, as they become more experienced how to get the best harvest from their crops. We truly believe that in the near future his vanilla will be world class!

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