Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron. Know the reason? It is the one of most labour intensive crops. They have to be hand pollinated, hand harvested and hand cured by skilled farmers in a time taking process. Harvesting vanilla fruit is as labour intensive as pollinating the blossoms, which has to be done manually one at a time. The Vanilla fruit grows quickly on the vine but is not ready for harvest until maturity – approximately nine to ten months. And each fruit ripens at its own time, requiring a daily harvest.