Sunday, October 16, 2011

Banana, banana is a growing......

Bananas, are to me, the prefect snack. You will almost always find a comb of banana sitting on my kitchen counter. I find that they are filling without being too filling, and they provide the just a right amount of sweetness. I have a 12 year old grove of 'Ice Cream' banana in my garden. The label said "Texture and flavor similar to vanilla ice cream." Now, how could you resist that!! 

After growing up in Malaysia with so many varieties of bananas, the Ice Cream banana pales in comparison. I find that its flavor depends on when the comb of banana develops. If it has a long hot stretch to develop it can be nice. I suspect that it would taste much better grown in a more tropical climate like Florida versus San Diego. Yet, I keep hoping one day, I will get the perfect bunch from my grove. That one plant I bought is a grove of ever regenerating banana plants. I try to keep it to 6 or so plants at any one time. I keep it also for the beautiful banana leaves. It serves as my natural window dressing. I love looking out my tall windows and seeing the banana leaves swaying in the breeze. It reminds me of home. More importantly, I use the banana leaves for cooking- for making otak-otak, lining steamer basket for nasi kunyit, for kuihs and also table decorations at times.
My natural window covering

This current banana flower is huge and already well on its wall on becoming a stalk of banana. The banana flower has multi layers/ bracts. It opens upwards as a series over a number of weeks. As each bract opens and shed, it reveals a row of cup like flowers. Bees love the nectar and help to pollinate the flowers. I notice that the hummingbirds in my gardens also get in on the action. Soon the purple bracts will split and shed, revealing a hand of banana each day. The fingers gets longer and fatter, as the flowers keep opening. After awhile, it will continue to shed but no hands will form, leaving a bare stem between the comb and the flower. I will cut off the flower below the last hand of banana. 

For now, the ground beneath the banana flower, is littered with purple bracts that were shed.
10/13/11- 2 hands and a row of flowers
10/13/11morning - purple bracts still covering fruit
10/15/11 evening-  4 hands of banana. Top bracts have shred off
10/16/11 Look how fat the first hand of bananas have become !

10/16/11 6 hands of bananas already

10/16/11 Banana grove

1 comment:

  1. Your banana plant is very productive, with flower, fruits and also many 'babies' on the ground. Hopefully, you'll get to eat some bananas before winter sets in. Lets keep our fingers crossed.