1) Banana Plant General Information:
- Location on Property: Gardens: H, I, P, S, W, Z, Jungle Cottage, Bamboo Hut, Ohia Camper, Aloha Bus, Rollinia House,
Scientific Name: Musa acuminata
- Region of Origin: Edible bananas originated in the Indo-Malaysian region reaching to northern Australia.
- Type: Useful
- General History: The early Spanish explorers introduced banana plants into America from Spain as a hardcore, large cooking banana, known as a Plantain banana. The amazing yellow fresh eating banana, that we know today sold by supermarkets, resulted from a mutation from the hardcore tissues of the parent plantain banana plant, that was then growing in Jamaica. In the year 1836, a Jamaican farmer, found in his banana plantain orchard a banana plant that produced soft, sweet, tasty banana fruit with a yellow colored skin; a large commercial improvement over the plantain banana tree that grew green bananas with hardcore tissue – virtually inedible unless cooked. Hundreds of cultivars of this banana mutation have evolved to give the world the greatest food breakthrough in human history to supply the world with the number one fruit grown to feed earth’s population – the modern yellow banana.
2) Banana Plant Uses:
- As Food: Bananas can be eaten an assortment of ways. For example: in fruit salad, cereal, fruit kabob, can be used in many recipes that require baking, or simply alone.
- As Medicine: When you suffer from a hangover – a banana milkshake with honey can give you immense relief. Cold milk soothes the stomach lining and bananas with honey build up depleted blood sugar levels. For those suffering from depression, bananas are good as they contain a protein called serotonin – which is also called the ‘happy hormone’ as it makes one feel happy and relaxed. Eating bananas help people give up smoking as this fruit is rich in vitamin C, A, B6 and B12. Bananas contain potassium and magnesium as well, which help the body recover from nicotine withdrawal.
- Other Uses: The peel of a banana fruit can be rubbed on a mosquito bite with good effect, the stinging sensation stops and the swelling also reduces.
3) Growing Instructions for Banana Plants
- General: Bananas and plantains are today grown in every humid tropical region and constitutes the 4th largest fruit crop in the world. The plant needs 10 – 15 months of frost-free conditions to produce a flower stalk. All but the hardiest varieties stop growing when the temperature drops below 53° F.
Difficulties with this plant: Growth of the plant begins to slow down at about 80° F and stop entirely when the temperature reaches 100° F. High temperatures and bright sunlight will also scorch leaves and fruit, although bananas grow best in full sun. Bananas require as much warmth as can be given them. The stalk of the leaves holds water which breeds mosquitos so we try to grow bananas at least 150 feet (the normal range of most mosquitos) from where people sleep.
History of this Plant at Hedonisia:
Having said that some of our most prolific groves of bananas in Hawaii are still on the upper levels of the property! Currently, we are growing bananas mainly in the crater.
Recipes: Banana pancakes: Preheat pan with coconut oil(or any oil on hand) to medium heat. 2 bananas, 1 egg, 3/4 cups oats, 1/2 cup water or milk of choice combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend! Pour batter into hot pan and cook until top of the pancake starts to bubble then flip. Drizzle local honey and cinnamon on top and add a few fresh Mulberry from the bush by Bamboo Bungalow for a delicious sweet treat. Enjoy!
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