Birthday bananas!

Yes, October 21 is my birthday, and I have spent it off an on out in the orchard and here in front of the computer. One thing I have not done is work. It just seems that one is entitled to a day off on one’s birthday, if one can manage it, and with this being a non-teaching, no-meeting kind of day, I could manage it.

I was out admiring the banana grove and noticed that one of the banana fruit stocks had split, and the fruit was on the ground. The variety is marked on my tag as WHL, which I assume is an abbreviation for its full name, but I can’t recall what that was.

WHL banana

I am not sure when this damage happened, but it must have been during the rare October cutoff low that blew in with 20 MPH northeast winds on Sunday, and dropped .84 of an inch here on Ladera Frutal over a three-day period. (This was the same low that was dumping steady rain on what proved to be the final game of the Angels-White Sox series in Anaheim. Significant rain in October is prety rare around here; last year we had 5.14 inches in October, which was just unheard of.)

The bananas get regular southwest winds of 20+, but they don’t get winds from the other direction too often, and so that, coupled with the weight of the developing fruit was apparently just too much.

The good news is that most of the fruit looks OK. It is ripening and, except for a few that got invaded by bugs while lying on the ground, I think we’ll have some fruit for fresh eating and smoothies and other treats. Now the fruit is hanging in the breezeway beside the house.

Bananas in the breezeway

Letting ripening bananas hang in a shady place with good air circulation is the ideal way to bring them to full flavor. (A lot better than letting them sit in cold storage on a ship from thousands of miles away or in a bin at the grocery store under bright lights!) As this photo shows, we had some good strong bicycle hooks installed in the breezeway ceiling for this purpose.

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