A New Crop

Hang on to your hat for this news – our banana plant may be “with child”. We planted a finger banana bush right after we moved here and had bananas the first couple of years but then we had a string of winters with hard freezes which, seemingly, killed them. Last winter was warmer than normal and the bush came back nicely but still, no fruit. Then today I was clearing jungle in the vicinity and noticed a longish, purple appendage coming out of the bush which I have to assume is the start of a pod of bananas. Under normal conditions we have maybe 5 months until a frost so if this pod is the start of a fruit crop, it may actually have a chance to develop. Fingerlings are tastier than the grocery store fare and maybe half the size. A single pod could potentially produce a dozen or so bananas. The bananas you see in the photo came from one pod and that’s a new one developing under the original one. Those bananas you see were hidden in the pod up until a week ago so they seem to mature rapidly. No idea when they’ll be ready for harvest but I suspect it will be within the next week or so. There are actually two plants there but only one is producing fruit at this time. Bananas, watermelon, pineapples – my veggie garden is turning into a fruit orchard.

finger bananas
finger bananas

At this point I have 26 pineapple plants of various ages and states of development and a waiting list of potential “customers” for fruit. I spent about 4 hours over the last two days working in the pineapple row, cleaning out weeds, fertilizing, laying down a layer of paper mulch and then over covering that with grass clippings. I started this as a test and just something to fill an empty row but now I’m getting serious about it. The next one we pick is designated for a pineapple upside down cake.
Nancy came into the living room at 7PM on Saturday and announced that the water had stopped. Never during the week, never in broad daylight. The last time this happened I removed the cover of the contactor and found a cooked lizard across the main contacts. This time it was a large palmetto bug, AKA, big ole roach. It’s a 220V environment so you have to be careful dealing with it but I’m getting adept at opening the contacts and cleaning them with an emory board or small piece of fine sandpaper. Sure enough, it leaped back into service so a potential disaster averted. And one less roach prowling the jungle. I’m trying a new approach to protecting the contractors from outside critters – wrapping it with a plastic grocery bag and taping it shut. It’s impossible to do anything like a hermetic seal but this should keep out the really large invaders. And I’m spraying the whole apparatus with a potent bug killer.

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