Young’uns grow so fast at this age

Banana plantIt seems like it was just three days ago that I last posted a picture about our banana bunch. Well, I guess it was.

Three days further progressed and it is amazing the difference. They say you can see these things grow and I tend to believe it now. If you will look at the picture I posted a couple of days ago you will see (or, I can see since I know what I am looking at) that there are four hands and then the main pod. There are actually five, but you can’t see that fifth one in the photo. In this new picture there are eight hands and the main pod. I am certain there are at least two more hands as part of the main pod there at the bottom, but there may be more.

This plant has three suckers (that is the technical name by the way) growing beside it. One is inconsequential since it is only about two inches high. The other two are too tall to cut off now. We did not know you were supposed to cut all suckers except one, which then becomes the follower. Since these plants grow in the wild and do just fine, I figure it is better to leave the two suckers we have now than to traumatize the plant by cutting off one of them.

The reddish protective leaf (I am sure there is probably a name for that) has fallen off of three of the hands and three more will probably fall tonight or tomorrow.

I suspect that a couple more hands will pop out of the pod at the bottom. If you look at the two pictures and can wrap your head around what you are seeing, you will realize that I have taken a picture of the same amount of information (just a slightly different angle). It is just that the stem that the bunch is growing on has gotten longer and the pod at the bottom has gotten smaller as the new hands pop out and begin to grow.

It seems like we will have bananas ready to eat in just a few more days, but having been through this process with some friends, we know it takes much longer than you expect.

We are going to have babies!

Our baby bananasOur banana plant that we saved from the trash pile will be giving us a great harvest in about 3 months. This is the hardest part of growing bananas, besides trying to eat them all. They have been growing happily for several months. I am not exactly sure when we planted the sucker, but it was probably in April or May.

What makes this part of the growing process so difficult is that you finally see the bananas coming out and you know it will be at least 12 more weeks. We have not quite gotten to the phase where we will have to wait the 3 final months. This is our first time to grow a banana plant ourselves, but we have been through the process twice with some friends.

In the picture you see the reddish leaves. Those are protecting the hands of bananas. There are 5 hands that are already able to be seen. I suspect there are at least 3 more that will come out based on what I can currently see. But there may be more.

How many babies will we have? Probably well over 100! This sucker came from a mother plant that produced 130+ bananas. I don’t remember the final count, but when the mother plant was growing at a friend’s house, we would count them every so often and just be amazed as to how many there were.

It will be several more weeks before this process is over. I will try to remember and give you pictures to see of our babies as they grow up.

I mentioned that we are in the hardest part of the process, except for the eating of them. I love bananas. My whole family does. But when you have 130 or more bananas become ripe on the same day, it is really hard to eat that many in the small window of time you have. We will be giving many of them away and freezing some.

There is some fascinating reading about bananas at Wikipedia. Mexico was the 8th largest producer of bananas in 2005.