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Old 04-11-2008, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Ecuador, South America
Zone: USDA 13 / Köppen-Geiger BSh
Name: Lorax
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Default Re: Banana Hanging - What Is The Proper Way?

Here in Ecuador I use 12 to 16-gauge baling wire, looping it four or five times around the basal stem of the bunch, then hang from a large lag-bolt in really sturdy rafter. I have successfully hung bunches weighing up to 200 lbs (a full bunch of plantains) in this manner. You can also use sturdy sisal rope, or even what I call "crappy yellow rope" of a sufficient gauge. If I was using rope, I wouldn't go with anything thinner than my pinky finger, and I'd give it a number of wraps both on the stem and around the rafter.

I stopped using rope, incidentally, because the birds of the area stole sufficient amounts of fibers out of the sisal rope to cause rope failure and the bunch to fall. I was quite surprised that they didn't go for the fruit, but it was still quite green at the time.

If you want a slower ripening process, leave the bunch "naked" (ie do not cover it in a black plastic bag, like a garbage bag) and then cut individual hands or fingers for accellerated ripening in smaller plastic bags. However, be aware that when they do start to yellow up the whole bunch will go fairly quickly and you'll be wishing you had a monkey to help you eat them.

The bunch will drip sap for about a day after you cut it, regardless of whether you hang it right-side-up or upside down, so if you care about the floor below where you're hanging, put down newspaper. Nanner sap is scary sticky and nearly impossible to remove from wood.

I find they ripen just a hair faster if you hang them so that the hands curve downwards.
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