Term 3 2012 – Banana Harvesting in midwinter

So finally our biggest bunch of bananas looked ready to harvest (to the best of my amateur knowledge). The bananas were all looking nice and fat, having lost that angular appearance, plus with the recent frosts I figured it was best to have them down and protected now since one of our other bunches was looking a bit blackened round the edges. We decided to harvest that bunch too as it has also been fattening up for months, but is in a part of the orchard that gets no sun at this time of year so didn’t want the frosts to ruin it completely. So, with a tall ladder, a machete, several sturdy adults holding the ladder and ready to catch the bananas and quite a large audience of year 2’s, we brought those bunches down. Firstly I cut through the large stem holding the bunch and Tom, our caretaker was ready to catch it. It was pretty heavy, I will have to try and weigh it, but right now i will just say, many kilos! After the bunch was safely down, Tom and I cut down the mother plant as this one will not fruit again.

We did the same with the second bunch, this was easier as it was smaller and also more accessible. For this tree we had space to cut it down in one go and the kids all shouted ‘Timbeeeeeeeeeeeeer!” as it crashed to the ground, narrowly missing our almond tree. As we chopped up the trunk and handed bits out it was interesting for the kids to see how light it all was and several of them took pieces for their class science tables.

We then laid the 2 bunches side by side so the kids could compare them and see how much bigger was the bunch that had the most sun. They also examined the banana flower petals and all the little flowers that did not turn into bananas. All in all, it was pretty cool! Here are the pictures. You can see everything except how nervous i was climbing up that ladder with a big audience and how much i sweated whilst hacking at those trees, but despite that, it was great to see so many kids and teachers there helping and being so enthusiastic about the whole thing and trusting that I knew exactly what i was doing. Well I kind of do 🙂 Also thanks to Fiona and Trish and Brent who gamely assisted and chopped those banana trunks into small pieces that would fit in the compost.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carolyn Bielby said,

    Wow! Big bunches!! Do the bananas eventually ripen to yellow or are they ready to eat as is?

    • 2

      gardenofedendale said,

      Hi Carolyn – wow a comment! having had about 6 in 3 years it is always very nice to get one!! Answer is yes – they will ripen to yellow but will take several weeks. We have them in black bags in the shed with a ripe banana in each to speed things up (apparently), cheers,


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