Even the backyard serves up unexpected bounties of food

The purple petals peel off to reveal another row of immature bananas about two months this side of a daiquiri. Photo: A.M. Costa Rica

It looks like we will be going bananas again. Banana daiquiri, banana splits, baked bananas, banana and Corn Flakes, chocolate covered frozen bananas on a stick.

A couple of banana bushes in the back yard just will not quit. Chop off one load of bananas and cut down the stalk and two more little bushes pop up ready to serve up fruit in about 14 months.

This is the advantage or disadvantage of living in Costa Rica. And its not just bananas. Some folks have cas or mango trees. A couple of nice, ripe mangos are great. It is when you have to force feed several bushels that the treat turns into a chore.

Minor Keith did it correctly when he managed to get a railroad concession as well as agricultural land in the 19th century. The banana plant produces 50 kilos of the fruit, takes a rest and then come back with more shoots and more fruit. All they ask is a little water, and Costa Rica has plenty of that.

The backyard plants ask for little: Some protection from the wind and a little space that can be shared with other banana plant friends. No work at all for 50 kilos of fruit. Well, almost none. Cutting the harvest and hanging it up requires some muscle.

The producers warn that bananas should be harvested a bit green and then hung in the dark so they do not ripen too quickly. Leave them out in the sun, and the menu is all bananas for two weeks.

Fortunately in the city there are not too many furry creatures to snatch bananas. Birds love them, but a cloth covering can keep the feathery folks away. For someone from the northern climes, the banana is a
strange plant. The little bananas are all pointed in the wrong direction, and the flower looks like something out of the “Little Shop of Horrors,” kind of an alien visitor.

Even a tiny city patch can become a personal banana plantation. Wonder if bananas can be distilled.

This entry was posted in Food and Entertainment. Bookmark the permalink.