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Old 09-14-2008, 07:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Some things make you go Hmmmm....

I found this article on line. Not sure if a little salt may be needed with this one... especially when you get to the end.

Here is the link:
The Modern Soft Yellow Banana Evolved From The Cooking Banana As The Number One Fruit In The World Toccoa GA - Toccoa GA, Plantain banana bananas tree trees fruit tropical plant plants cultivars gardening

Here is the story:
The Modern Soft Yellow Banana Evolved From The Cooking Banana As The Number One Fruit In The World
The early Spanish explorers introduced banana plants into America from Spain as a hardcore, large cooking banana, known as a Plantain banana. The amazing yellow fresh eating banana, that we know today sold by supermarkets, resulted from a mutation from the hardcore tissues of the parent plantain banana plant, that was then growing in Jamaica. Mr. Jean Francois Poujot, in the year 1836, a Jamaican farmer, found in his banana plantain orchard a banana plant that produced soft, sweet, tasty banana fruit with a yellow colored skin; a large commercial improvement over the plantain banana tree that grew green bananas with hardcore tissue – virtually inedible unless cooked. Hundreds of cultivars of this banana mutation have evolved to give the world the greatest food breakthrough in human history to supply the world with the number one fruit grown to feed earth's population – the modern yellow banana.

Not only is the modern yellow banana sweet to taste, but it is easy to grow and keeps well for extended periods at a relatively low cost. The banana industry began from huge plantations established in the Bahamas and Central and South America. The banana tree cultivation is inexpensive because of the ability of the mother plant to constantly divide into fast growing new trees. The labor cost is cheap for growing bananas in these third world countries, and shipping costs of barge transports is inexpensive to America and European markets.

Banana trees are viewed as tropical plants by most observers, however, in recent years the plants have survived in States further and further North. The lush green leaves of the banana tree are frozen in Winter, and in some cases the entire stalk of the tree is frozen, but the underground shoots will arise vigorously in the Spring to produce new banana trees. In some cases, a banana sprout may grow into a mature tree during a 6 month period to produce an amazing tree; twenty feet tall and one foot in diameter, weighing several hundred pounds. This tree can also produce up to 15 daughter, offset banana plants, each capable of growing into mature trees the first season. Even though some banana trees exhibit striking cold hardy qualities, most cultivars are tropical in nature, and will not survive freezing winter temperatures, however, some banana cultivars are very resilient and can surge from a Winter deep freeze to grow into a mature banana tree with giant clusters of bananas, delicious to the taste. Such a banana was discovered growing in Wichita Falls, TX, that survived the fabled freeze of 1983 – 84 of minus 16 degrees F. to regrow and produce a crop of bananas the following year. This extraordinary cold hardy banana was named 'Texas Star' Banana and can be purchased to buy from certain Internet mail order sources. Many of the cold hardy fruiting banana plants appear to have originated growing on the banks of a river in an area of Venezuela and Brazil, where the Orinoco River flows. These banana cultivars are collectively known as "Orinoco Bananas."

Another remarkable quality of the modern edible bananas is the seedless quality, however to be completely accurate, these bananas are not seedless, but they contain small black spots within the banana tissues that are edible and don't interfere with dentures and are tiny sterile seed. The wild banana cultivars are numerous, approaching 1000 in number, and many have colorful leaves that make certain cultivars highly desirable as ornamental landscape plants. The seed of the wild type banana plants will germinate to grow into new banana trees. One particular cultivar of the ornamental banana forms a large pseudo-trunk that appears similar to the trunk of a deleafed palm tree. This banana tree is called an "Ensete" banana, "Ensete ventricosiom 'Maurelii'. The leaves of this banana tree are very large with a bright, purple-red coloration that develops in the fall. The seed of a wild banana are noxious and the wild banana is unsuitable to eat as a food item – only to be grown as a dense privacy block or an ornamental landscape tree.

The growing point of a banana plant is in the center of the stalk, and the outer growth rings of the banana stalk are the oldest. In midsummer, if a banana stalk is decapitated, a gardener can see the amazing rapid growth rate for himself. After observing the decapitated banana tree for 24 hours, he can see a one foot shoot growing from the center, which rapidly will develop into new leaves. This banana decapitation often forces the banana tree to produce numerous daughter offset banana plants, or in some cases, the banana tree will be shocked into a fruiting progression that can result in fast ripening bananas, sweet to the taste.

If an orchard of banana trees is planted 4 feet apart in every direction in late Spring, the banana trees rapidly begin growing after a week of transplanting, and the roots spread aggressively outward from the mother banana plant, growing in lines like the alignment of spokes on a bicycle wheel. After a month or two of growing, the dense blocking shade of the banana leaves and the hostile dessication of moisture by the banana roots will eliminate any competitive growing of weeds or germinating seeds. The growth of the banana trees can be accelerated in several ways. The banana tree must be planted in full sun to generate the maximum photosynthetic component, chlorophyll. The most important growth promoter in banana trees is an abundant flooding of water beginning in late May and continuing until early Fall. During June and July, a banana tree can grow one foot in height every two days if daily, multiple applications of water are made. Fertilization is extremely important to the heavy feeding banana trees. For heavy applications of nitrogen, ammonium nitrate can be spread on the ground and watered-in each week. Potassium is very beneficial to banana trees by scattering 40% potash underneath the trees every two weeks. If the above fertilizer concentrates are not available, heavy applications of 10-10-10 is appropriate once each week. Banana plants appear to respond also to applications of magnesium sulfate 'Epsom Salts.' Most soils are excellent for growing banana trees, and the advice of some companies selling bananas that a gardener should plant banana trees in well drained soil is not true. Banana trees often grow on the edge of farm ponds, even spreading into the water sometimes, and along river banks.

Banana plants appear to be immune to most diseases and insect pests, however, during tobacco season in August, the tobacco worms seem to migrate after tobacco harvest toward any new leaf food opportunity, but the tobacco leaf worm is easily controlled by a light spraying of Malathion. Black nematodes can buildup in soils over the years to enter the roots of banana trees, but the nematode can be controlled by applications of Nemagon.

When a banana tree begins to fruit, a small sword shaped (rogue) leaf appears at the top of the tree, followed by a unique flower. The banana flowers are dropped each day during the fruit development, and small bananas are initiated in groups called "hands." A mature bunch of bananas can contain as many as 12 hands of bananas that can weigh 80 pounds. To fully ripen, the bunch of bananas is cut from the tree and placed commercially into a dark room and exposed to ethylene gas, a ripening agent that is given off from the fruit as it ripens.

For a banana plant to mature properly in one season, it is better to plant large field grown banana trees rather than tiny 6 inch pot banana plants that were grown through tissue culture. There is some debate that tissue grown banana trees have 'run out', a condition unfortunately prevalent in horticultural crops reproduced vegetatively such as strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry plants and many others. The commercial demand for banana trees has been responsible for the rapid growth of tissue culture banana reproduction for the mail order plant business, that prefers selling small banana plants, easily boxed and avoiding the high shipping costs of field grown banana trees.

Cold hardy banana trees have become a target by Northern gardeners to experiment with. New cultivars of cold hardy banana field grown trees can be easily grown in the northern states as an annual, and if properly stored during winter the banana tree will resurge in the Spring. Banana trees show the same cold hardy toleration in northern states as the fig tree. Plant banana trees for a tropical experience of gardening.

Copyright: Copyright © 2007-2008 Patrick Malcolm

About the Author:
Written by: Patrick Malcolm. Learn more about various trees by visiting the author's website: Welcome to TyTy Online Plant & Pecan Tree Nursery: The Nursery at TyTy
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Old 09-14-2008, 10:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Interesting marketing piece. One of many things the author is confused about: it was the name "plaintain" that evolved into "banana" in the U.S., not the plant.
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Wow, this is a horribly researched article, I think the whole first paragraph was just made up. I was kinda shocked, until I finally saw who wrote it at the end...haha...can't get enough of that TyTy.
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Maybe the fact that he repeatedly referred to them as "trees," throughout the article should have been a dead give away.
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Old 09-15-2008, 12:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Yes, I agree with Richard. Originally, banana in Spanish is Platano. Only recently, it became "banano". I'm sure in 1836, the yellow banana that we know now was already in existence. (Although maybe not in Jamaica.) The Galleon Trade was established by Spain between Manila and Acapulco in the mid-late 1500s. Tropical fruits, including bananas, were brought from Asia to the New World, and vice-versa. The Philippines was probably one of the first Asian country to get New World fruits like guava, sapote, annonacious family of fruits, pineapple, etc. And the New World got bananas, citrus, mango, breadfruit, etc. The last galleon sailed from Manila to Acapulco in 1811. So, the plantain and the banana must have been established in the New World well before the "discovery in Jamaica in 1836" of the yellow banana.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

I did a bit of research, and the first paragraph has some truth to it, but is interpreted in a very simple minded and misleading way, and then is taken out of context and extrapolated to cover the entire history of dessert bananas.
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Chong, do you have that stuff memorized or just make it up like Patrick Malcom?

I've got lots of things stored in my brain also, but the things I recall most often are completely useless trivia!
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by harveyc View Post
Chong, do you have that stuff memorized or just make it up like Patrick Malcom?

I've got lots of things stored in my brain also, but the things I recall most often are completely useless trivia!
Part of going to school in the Philippines is learning Philippine History (and also, US History, believe it or not it was mandatory). Magellan's journey to circumnavigate the world ended for him in the Philippines after he tried to overcome a "macho" chieftain from Mactan Island, where he was killed. That was April 1521. His surviving 18 crew members completed the journey (they started with crew of 270). He was the first European to set foot on Philippine soil. The Galleon Trade was from 1565 to 1815, with the last sailing from Manila in 1811, and the return trip from Acapulco was four years later in 1815.

I could be wrong, but I do not believe that New World fruits were available in the Philippines before 1521, and vice-versa, since there was no way for the plants to get from one place to the other, otherwise.

Last edited by chong : 09-28-2008 at 12:05 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Your knowledge of Philippine history is fabulous and impressive, but your recall is phenomenal!!! Thanks for the lesson, I could listen to this type of thing for hours.
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

I found Harvey's comments challenging, so I did a search on how the banana came to the Western Hemisphere and found the following article from the International Banana Association:
International Banana Association

It appears that I was not entirely accurate. The first banana's route to the Americas from SE Asia was through Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, thence South America. So, it was not from the Philippines to America. My contention that the yellow banana was already in existence, though, is still correct. The banana was brought to the Caribbean in 1516. Years before that, the Portuguese brought the banana to the Canary Islands where they were cultivated.

It would be extremely unlikely that a natural hybridizing process could occur in a short span of 20 years. Unless, one of the Jamaican farmer's workers performed a "grafting process" similar to Mauro's. And so, why not? If hybridizing can be done on a cellular level, the "splicing" of two different corm halves is just the same procedure. Only it is done with several thousand times bigger materials.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

I wasn't doubting your accuracy, Chong, but just amazed that you can recall these dates. You're a bit older than me and still remember facts you learned 50 plus years ago very well. I don't remember things I learned 40 years ago so well but am learning some of them again for a second time because of helping my son in school. I can, however, tell you the account number and telephone number of a former customer from over 20 years ago which is entirely useless information!
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Quote:
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...
I could be wrong, but I do not believe that New World fruits were available in the Philippines before 1521, and vice-versa, since there was no way for the plants to get from one place to the other, otherwise.
The first cargo from the new world arrived in Manilla in 1526. Among other things, it was the first introduction of chili peppers to the east.

Sweet (dessert) bananas have been documented in India for 1,000 years.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Quote:
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The first cargo from the new world arrived in Manilla in 1526. Among other things, it was the first introduction of chili peppers to the east.

Sweet (dessert) bananas have been documented in India for 1,000 years.
Yes --- Chili peppers and tomatoes, two very important ingredients in Philippine fares. Brought back on the first return trip of the Galleon Trade from Acapulco.

Thanks, Richard.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Can't wait to see Patrick Malcolm's write-up on Musa Dasycarpa - he might rename it Musa Malcolmii.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Quote:
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Can't wait to see Patrick Malcolm's write-up on Musa Dasycarpa - he might rename it Musa Malcolmii.
It's a few years too late for that isn't it?
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Good to see you back again Mauro! I enjoyed seeing your new video. Will you be cutting-off one of the parent plants soon, as you did on the previous banana graft?
I would like to see some photos of the pups from the first graft.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

I have heard of people making cuts into the trunks of citrus trees similar to what you mention in your post above to make them bear fruit. In my opinion, it is probably stressing the tree and causing it to fruit because the tree thinks it may be about to die due to the injuries.
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro Gibo View Post
I think the name of the macho chieftain was Lapulapu. I never forgot his name because it is also the name of a very delicious fish in the Filipino cuisine. When I was young I went to aviation school in the Philippines. I also graduated from San Sebastian College in Santa Mesa, Manila. Bye. I love history and also know about Jose Rizal and that El Cano, a spaniard took the honors of Fernao de Magalhaes.
You must know that having lived in the Philippines, once you are at home with the people there, they consider you a Filipino. All you have to say when you get back there is exactly what you just said. "I graduated from 'Basté' (San Sebastian)" and they'll know that you are an expatriate that went to school in San Sebastian College, near the San Beda University.

May I have the honor to say, "Mabuhay!" to you and your endeavors. I am anxious and excited to see the results of your experiments.

Lapu-lapu was a chieftain who was a renegade and did not always agree with the chiefs of the neighboring islands, although his island of Mactan was many times smaller than his neighbors. After converting to Catholicism, the other chieftains convinced Magellan to invade Mactan Island and capture Lapu-lapu.

With superior arms, Magellan thought that bolos (long knives) and sharpened bamboo spears would be no match for cannons and muskets. He was right, of course. But he made the mistake of not reconnoitering the area and brazenly attacked before sunrise, which unfortunately was at low tide. The ships ran aground at a distance which rendered their cannons out of range of shores of the island.

They decided to attack on dinghies, whereupon they were pummeled by arrows and bamboo spears. And the sheer numbers of the natives were so overwhelming, that before Magellan and the ship's captain could reach the shores on foot, they had been hit in their legs with arrows.

Instead of retreating, they pressed on and was met by Lapu-lapu brandishing a Kampilan, a long single edged broadsword, and defeated the aggressors. (It was a lot more gory than that, but in deference to the site audience, I thought it best not to elaborate.) Thus ending the conflict, and the surviving crew was able to return to Spain.

There are two kinds of fish called Lapu-lapu, named after this chieftain. One is the delicious rock fish related to the Red Snapper, and is a special treat in restaurants, or in festivities at home. Usually prepared as "Escaveche", deep fried whole fish and served with a not so sweet and not so sour sauce with thinly sliced green papaya slivers, carrots, ginger and garlic.

The other fish is a deep sea fish that can grow upwards of over 300 pounds, the Sea Bass, which is a relative of the famous Chilean Sea Bass. This is the fish that was named after the chieftain, allegedly, after he dove into the water and single handedly fought, captured and killed this large fish with his bare hands. (Well, maybe he had a knife.)

I don'tknow if this big fish is good for sashimi, but I know that pan fried steaks of this fish, with mildly spicy ginger sauce, is awesome!
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Old 09-29-2008, 12:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Some things make you go Hmmmm....

Woo-hoo, I love sashimi!!!
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