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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 01-17-2008, 09:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Bananas in South Louisiana

Due to my job, I have to travel to South La. and it's amazing to see the beautiful Bananas along the roads. They are so healthy and many have fruit. I don't know if it's the variety or growing conditions/zone, but some look as tall as 18 ft.
Sometimes it's hard to keep my eyes on the road.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Hey there,
When you get a chance, it would be great to see pictures!
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"When Momcilo Krajisnik, Karadzic's successor, was asked about the chances of restoring a multiethnic unitary Bosnia, he responded with biting sarcasm: "You can't grow bananas here," he said, "bananas may grow in Africa but not here." He was not alone."
-John G. Stoessinger, Why Nations Go To War
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Yes, I'm gonna bring my camera, on my next trip there.
Thanks
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Old 01-18-2008, 08:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Those are probably Orinocos as they grow everywhere here in coastal Louisiana. Originally brought to New Orleans from the Caribbean islands in the 1700's and have made their way across the state. St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans has two huge mats at the entrance gates to the grounds of the Church

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Old 01-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Thanks for your reply. I've also seen some big groves of them on I-10/610 in New Orleans.
When I first started looking at different type bananas, they pretty much looked all the same and I'm just now starting to learn the differences in varieties. From the info gathered, I've came to the conclusion that most of the local bananas are "Orinocos" or the "Cavendish" type. But our bananas here in South Alabama are nothing like what I see in louisiana, generally speaking. Probably the same variety grown in better soil and conditions. I'm also wondering if they could be alot older? It's just breath taking to see these growing wild along roads. I stopped along side the road this summer and picked one of the ripe bananas and it was a little smaller and sweeter than the store bought bananas.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Well, the growing conditions are certainly different in New Orleans versus south Alabama or here in southwest Louisiana. New Orleans is zone 9b with few freezes and their soil is much more fertile. There are some mats at some of the plantation homes between Baton Rouge and New Orleans that are centuries old so your thought of older mats is probably accurate. All of the bananas in southwest Louisiana are brown and ugly due to a night of 24 on Jan. 3. The ones in New Orleans are still green.

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Old 01-18-2008, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Stokes Tropicals in New Iberia, LA sells a banana called 1780. Glen Stokes traced this banana back to Laura Plantation near New Orleans. He thinks it's some sort of Cavendish and has been growing at that plantation since 1780. It too originally came from a Caribbean island.

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Old 07-22-2009, 09:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

The 1780 is just like all the rest of the Cavendish - it comes from Asia. Claude Treme brought it to his home below the French Quarter. It or a pup of it wound up at the Laura Plantation in St James Parish, which is 40 miles upriver of the city (in this case it's just west of the city a bit). I have a 1780.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Remember that article the Gambit put out a few years back about bananas being traded for cotton? I think the bananas of the Gulf Coast are courtesy of Standard Fruit, who were based in New Orleans. Banana plants in Alabama are orinoco, just like the ones around New Orleans. They just grow different in that red dirt in LA, er, Lower Alabama, that is.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

I grew up in the real lower Alabama--(we actually call this part of FL LA as well) and most of the soil there is just plain sand--you have to dig down a ways to get to some red clay/sand--it is nowhere near as rich as tha black delta mud around New Orleans. I have some Orinocos that I have had for years and I last yr I finally found out how to get them to make it trhu the winter so they would bloom and I now have 2 that bloomed.
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bananas in South Louisiana

Ah, yes, the big sand bar. It's the bottom of the Appalachian mountains. I would imagine they need a lot of watering. I know Sabal palms like being in sand, as well as, well, a lot of palms. I've had bananas in pump sand, or river sand, and they grow a lot slower.
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