Class on Mediterranean Food Gardening
Sunflowers in the Fog

My Dad's Bananas are ripening!

Julyaugust07038forweb There they are, the bananas that ripened despite the frost that killed all the leaves on the stem they were on and much of the rest of the plant. This shot, taken on August 10, shows that many of the fruits are turning yellow nicely. As you can see, the weight of the fruit bent the stem over until it threatened to touch the ground, so my brother put a tomato cage in the ground and propped the bananas on it.

I cut a few of these, and we had them as refreshments after watching the video of Dad's 100th birthday party. They were pretty good. As Dad says, this variety of banana doesn't get that strong banana oil flavor when it is ripe. His friend, L., who is visiting says, "Oh, but I like that flavor." Dad says he doesn't, and I'm with him.

I was thinking that the stems of the banana plant had to be connected underground to each other through their rhizomes, so the frozen stem would get some energy from the other, less damaged, stems. Looks like I was right.

I took more pictures in Dad's garden, which I will prepare and send in coming days. We also went to Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas (www.qbgardens.org), and there will be more shots from there. We took Dad, in his wheelchair, and he sure did have fun there. He likes to remember times when Mom was still alive and they made hundreds of jars of jelly and jam to be sold at the holiday sales. They used fruits from their garden and neighbors' gardens, mostly subtropical.

Quail gardens have a big planting of subtropical fruit plants, including a walkway with different banana varieties on either side for about 60 or so feet. (All the banana plants were nice and green, though search as I might, I found no bananas, unlike on previous visits.)

Back to the City, where it was sunny in our neighborhood on Sunday and Monday, but today we are back to mostly fog.

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