cavendish banana clump in edible landscape design

The Infinite Simplicity of Bananas Provides Abundant Rewards

Easy to plant, easy to peel, easy to digest, planting and growing bananas is as easy as eating them!

Bananas are the fastest growing fruit tree you will find, but that is mostly because they are not actually a tree but technically a grass. It may be hard to believe by their appearance that banana plants are in the grass family. However, the extraordinary rate in which they grow and multiply is definitely reflective of this fact.

Banana plants grow very quickly. So quickly, in fact, that their growth progress can be significantly observed in the matter of hours. I've left banana plants in the morning and come back in the afternoon to see brand new leaves shooting out of the stem!

The ability and ease of the banana plant to multiply make it an ideal plant for both food production and landscape. If you need quick privacy, you can simply plant a few bananas and before long you will have a broad and lush patch creating a beautiful bright green wall of flora. Then, as a giant bonus, each plant will provide an abundance of sweet, delicious, and nutritious organic food.

Planting a banana plant is incredibly easy. With fruit trees you must deal with a fairly large root system that makes it very difficult to transplant any trees larger than 3 feet. However, since bananas are not really fruit trees they have a relatively shallow root structure that allows for plants up to 7' in height to be dug up and replanted with a few well place shovel strikes and minimal labor.

Many fruits can be quite finicky about their planting soil. The constitution and condition of the soil must be fine tailored and even then it takes a bit for the roots to become accustomed to the new soil enough to grow and begin to fruit.  Bananas on the other hand, while heavy feeders (requiring large amounts of fertilizer) are quite easy to please. They are so tolerant to nitrogen that they can be planted in fresh composted manure. Sometimes in ideal conditions they can even be planted straight into manure, however Brent finds great success in creating a planting medium that is a mix of compost and native soil with a heavy addition of horse or chicken manure.

As the plants grow they can be direct fed nitrogen rich plant material or manure however the best food for a banana patch is provided by the bananas themselves. As the plants grow and produce fruit, each plant sends out several offspring from its rhizome (root structure). Then when the mother plant's fruit is harvested its own life cycle has come to an end while its children plants begin to produce their fruit. Now as a last act of devotion the mother plant falls in place where it stood to decompose and feed its growing children. This beautiful cycle is what keeps your plants healthy, productive, and exponentially multiplying with very little effort.

Bananas love water and while they require a good bit of it for prolific production, they can't have too much. By planting bananas in a depression or area prone to flooding you will not only have healthy plants but additionally, they will act as a sponge to keep that area from becoming too swampy or soggy. Banana plants tend to produce and grow more in the hot rainy summer anyway where there is generally more than enough water to go around.

Bananas are so much fun to plant and observe. Their unique and simple life process can teach us a great deal about nature and abundance. Yet, the simple genius of bananas goes well beyond growth and harvest.

Bananas are a delicious treat but many are unaware of their nutritional value. In fact, many people have been misconditioned to believe that because they are so sweet and delicious they cannot be THAT good for us, and perhaps they are better to be considered a treat. The fact is that our taste is our primary natural indicator of healthy foods and the total package that bananas offer make them a viable and valuable staple in any healthy diet.

Bananas are loaded with readily available vitamins, ideally balanced amino acids, and yes even proper ratio of omega fatty acids. Furthermore they are incredibly easy to digest, requiring very little excess energy from our body. This means that for the rich nourishment they provide they use very little by way of enzymes, digestive acids, etc. In other words, you are getting a great deal for spending very little.

Many foods that are supposedly very high in nutrients keep those nutrients locked up tight and require a great deal of energy from our body to process and use those nutrients. By the time we go through that complex digestive process we have spent more than we are given. Some complex proteins and high fat "omega rich" foods can take up to 20 hours to fully digest, requiring several different digestive enzymes and gastric secretions. For the same level of nourishment, bananas digest fully in 15-25 minutes, and require nothing from the stomach while they make their way directly to the small intestine for immediate absorption and assimilation. Their simplicity, once again, continues to bring more abundance to all levels of our being!

Anyone who has the proper climatic conditions to cultivate bananas would be silly not to take advantage of their simple brilliance! On all levels and all stages of growth, production, harvest and use it could be said that with very little effort or resources you will reap an extraordinary abundance in return.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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