I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Banana Plantation -Part 6

For some reason a lot of expressions have permeated our culture having to do with bananas. Going bananas, stepping on a banana peel, a banana republic (either a small Latin American country or a trendy clothing store), second banana, Chiquita banana are all terms we're familiar with. Why there's even a banana museum! One of the first fruits we feed our kids is the banana. It is purported to have all sorts of health benefits. Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 and they are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Wow, can you think of anything better than a banana split? On this trip I even learned to enjoy fried plantains...a type of banana.

Do you ever think about how they're grown? I had a vague idea but loved seeing an actual banana plantation. They're not actually grown on trees, it's more like a stalk that only bears fruit once. It's cut down and and a sucker grows for the next crop. The bananas are covered with plastic bags to protect them from insects while they ripen. The farm we visited was run by Del Monte and they went to great lengths to ensure all the critters were cleaned off before they were boxed and shipped off to our supermarkets. Unfortunately we visited on a Sunday so we didn't see the actual operation at work. I do know I have a new appreciation for what it takes to put that banana into my cereal in the morning.


Blogger bornfool said...

Banana are good for what ails you. :)

April 24, 2006 7:03 AM  
Blogger Tomas Dennis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 24, 2006 1:57 PM  
Blogger Tomas Dennis said...

my computer does not want to display the letter "T" so I deleted the last post about having a banana tree in our yard in Pasadena.

April 24, 2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

That was a very interesting and informative post...I had no idea that the stalk only beared fruit once and was cut down for another sucker to grow.
And they are bagged too, thank goodness, because I am afraid of spiders and I sure would hate to find one of those taranchalas in my bunch of bananas.

My aunt Kay had a banana tree in her back yard and I saw bananas growing on it, but not as impressive as your bananas, in the top picture.

April 24, 2006 5:09 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I love my bananas cool but not cold. I try to eat at least one every day. I'm very fussy about ripeness. I like them when they still have a green stem. If the green is gone, I don't want it.

April 29, 2006 1:26 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting. The plant in the photo is a croton I left outside all winter. The green is the new leaves coming out, replacing the ones I lost in the winter. I think it got down to about thirty degrees this year. I left it out on purpose because I wanted to see how much cold it would tolerate. I love crotons but they are just a little too tropical to grow outside in Houston.

By the way, I really enjoy your blog. I've only been gardening for two years and have nowhere near your degree of knowledge, but I don't let that stop me from having a lot of fun with my garden.

May 01, 2006 5:24 AM  

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