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Old 10-23-2006, 03:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Banana database at bananas.org?

I was wondering, since there are so many people with lots of knowledge here, if it would be possible to start some kind of banana-database on this site with images, descriptions, culture-tips, cold-hardiness, etc. etc?
I think this would be a real handy tool, since some of the biggest enthusiasts in the world probably can contribute up-to-date and reliable information. Although I like answering beginners questions, we could then spend more space and time discussing more advanced topics.

I have yet to see a perfect musa database on the internet. It would be cool if we were to become the best!

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Old 10-23-2006, 04:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

I find that the best and the most number of bananas can be found from the publications of www.inibap.org

I have listed the links to most of their PDF articles that covered more than 1,000 cultivars in my early posts.
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think Inibap is a great site, but they are more focused on cultivars than species bananas. They lack info on many species-bananas, and also culture of each species.

By the way, webebananas.com is also a great site I think. But it would be nice to have some kind of database where the experts are located so that information and experiences can be updated frequently.
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have my own personal banana database that includes the real experiences of real people growing real banana cultivars in Zone 9 and below. The list is too limited to be worthy of a real database. It can be fit into an excel spreadsheet not more than 3 pages. I have done most cultivar testing myself and spent a great deal of money on it. Have posted my results here for everyone to see.

Now, I don't care about other bananas that are not edible and not able to bear fruit in zone 9 and below. If there are new cultivars or hybrids for the cold hardiness, then I'll be the first to try, if I can afford it.

I can contribute my inputs if someone needed to document them.
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

Being a newbie with very little experience, I found it very hard to find decent information about bananas on the Net. Not that there isn't any information available, but before I believe anything I read on the Net I want it confirmed somewhere else.

When I compare the things written on a number of commercial sites (e-bay on top) with the things I've read on this list ... well, let's say that an e-bay banana is almost by definition "a new and rare plant, growing on the high mountains of Nepal/China/Tibet/India [pick one] that is presumably at least as frost resistant as Musa basjoo ...'. I take that with a grain of sat. I think the best and unbiased information can be found on lists like this one.

Just making up a list of species I could grow in my zone 8 proved to be more difficult than it should be. So I have begun my own primitive banana data sheets.

Erlend, you took the words right out of my mouth. I've been walking around with the idea of making a banana grower's guide for a few weeks. The guide would only contain information confirmed by multiple members or backed by a banana expert (given that I would get support from the members on this list). So I can only applaud your initiative.

If I can, I want to help succeed this initiative. I can't help with first-hand experiences, but I could help maintain (part of) the documentation.

Great initiative,

Possible subjects:
- potting soil mix
- soil preparation, how deep, how wide
- plant the corm how deep
- how to measure a pseudo stem: height, diameter
- what plants give edible fruit, with/without seeds, after how many years, cold-hardiness, full sun/(partial) shade
- how to separate pups from the mother plant

Most of this can be found in past postings on this list, but it would be great to find all of this together. As you can tell by my questions: yes, I'm a total newbie with still LOTS of questions
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Old 10-23-2006, 06:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

We certainly do plan to have an extensive database of bananas here, it will be in such a format where everyone can edit the page and add their own information and experiences. This design is called a "wiki", from the Hawaiian term "waka waka", for "fast".
It's been discussed before. I've looked at a few solutions to implement this feature. I plan to integrate it smoothly with the bulletin board, to share the existing database of members, content, and photos, etc.
Your comments do not fall on deaf ears, I will try a bit harder to get this finally setup. And when I do, I hope to really impress everyone with the final product.
As for the content, I'll talk to my contact at INIBAP and see if we can use some of their database to populate ours. And, Joe, if you would like to contribute your db, it would certainly go to good use. I'll talk to Jon and see what he says about contributing his, too. It would be nice if Joachim would as well.
Then the rest of the content would have to be contributed by our members, and watched over by the rest of us for spelling, accuracy, relevance, etc.
If you've ever used Wikipedia, and are familiar with how their site works, ours would be very similar.
If everyone would post their ideas for the feature, what they would like to see included, all suggestions will be considered for inclusion. And if you have some data that you would like included in the first rollout, or if you know someone who does, please send me a private message so we can talk some more. We may need more helping hands to organize the content, merge paragraphs, etc. for the first rollout, so Gabe and I will decide on how we'll handle that, and if we need to take on some additional help to speed things up, we will.
Let's get this show on the road!

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Old 10-23-2006, 07:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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MediaHound,

I'm excited already! We could have special sections where we can add our actual experiences from our region. This would be the best and most useful compilation when you can find info that is suited to your area. Also the actual hardiness ratings which you cannot find from tropical research data. We need a special section for cold hardiness alone.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaHound View Post
We certainly do plan to have an extensive database of bananas here, it will be in such a format where everyone can edit the page and add their own information and experiences. This design is called a "wiki", from the Hawaiian term "waka waka", for "fast".
It's been discussed before. I've looked at a few solutions to implement this feature. I plan to integrate it smoothly with the bulletin board, to share the existing database of members, content, and photos, etc.
Your comments do not fall on deaf ears, I will try a bit harder to get this finally setup. And when I do, I hope to really impress everyone with the final product.
As for the content, I'll talk to my contact at INIBAP and see if we can use some of their database to populate ours. And, Joe, if you would like to contribute your db, it would certainly go to good use. I'll talk to Jon and see what he says about contributing his, too. It would be nice if Joachim would as well.
Then the rest of the content would have to be contributed by our members, and watched over by the rest of us for spelling, accuracy, relevance, etc.
If you've ever used Wikipedia, and are familiar with how their site works, ours would be very similar.
If everyone would post their ideas for the feature, what they would like to see included, all suggestions will be considered for inclusion. And if you have some data that you would like included in the first rollout, or if you know someone who does, please send me a private message so we can talk some more. We may need more helping hands to organize the content, merge paragraphs, etc. for the first rollout, so Gabe and I will decide on how we'll handle that, and if we need to take on some additional help to speed things up, we will.
Let's get this show on the road!

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Old 10-23-2006, 08:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

Good Job Jarred! You're a great administrator!
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Old 10-23-2006, 09:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

I think that this idea sounds great! What a valuable source of information it could become. Jarred, this site just keeps getting better by the day!
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Old 10-24-2006, 04:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
If you've ever used Wikipedia, and are familiar with how their site works, ours would be very similar.
What I like about wikipedia is that users are encouraged to be objective about what they write. It would be nice to differentiate between absolute facts and personal experiences/feelings. (This is sometimes hard to do, as I realized back in college!) But both would be very valuable.
For example: It is a fact that ensete seeds are large, dark-brown, and smooth, but it's a personal experience that they are easy to germinate.

Anyone who has written a few scientific papers probably knows more about this.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Just give me the db structure (field names etc), and the format to export to (tab delimited, CSV, excel file, SLK, etc.) and I would send you a copy for export.

Perhaps we can proof read the database structure and othe meta data definitions, to make sure we will not omit the most important ones. Of course what is important becomes subjective, but at least we try to be as inclusive. We can then rank the various banana cultivars according to their properties or values within a datafield. This is something that I haven't found in any of the online systems out there. For example, what is the cold hardiness rankings of the known banana cultivars within the database? This kind of information, you can only filter for, but never ever find neatly arranged from any of the online sources, and that is why we needed the database to do such things as ranking based on properties and not the number of hits to keywords as all the search engines do but totally useless to the kind of results we wanted.

Here's an example of the information that I use for my personal database. Remember that one capability that I like is sorting their values, not only searching for keywords. My database is automatically indexing all the words entered so I can easily find any keyword using soundex or other algorithms faster than the local google database search engine. We code and build our own database engines that runs on our PC. So here are some of the datafields which favors my primary reasons of growing bananas here in the US:
  • CultivarName - the single most mentioned or accepted cultivar name
  • Synonyms - all the possible synonyms. Should be searchable in case you can't find the name under CultivarName, this is the field to search.
  • Description - the general description of the cultivar.
  • GeneticGroup - such as AAA, AAB, AA, ABB, etc., the parentage if known
  • Origin - most probable place of origin, like Himalayas, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, FHIA, etc. And history about its discovery or breeding
  • Usage - the primary uses of this banana and their other main usage, ie, ornamental foliage, ornamental flower, dessert, cooking, wine making, banana chips, all of the above, etc.
  • TropicsBloom - average number of days to maturity starting from 1 ft pup pseudostem height under tropical conditions. If this is known, I can extrapolate this into number of warm days here in the US and estimate how long it would take to bloom.
  • TropicsHarvest - average number of days starting from full flag leaf extrusion to harvest (when the first hands start to turn yellow) under tropical conditions. Again, this can be extrapolated into the US growing conditions by counting the number of warm days under our conditions. Together with the number of days to bloom, the overall speed can be ranked as to which are fast growing or not, and which have
  • MatureHeight - the average known pseudostem height when they bloom.
  • SurvivalZone - the lowest USDA zone that bananas can survive without extraordinary (ie greenhouse) winter protection
  • FruitingZone - the lowest USDA zone that bananas can bear usable edible fuits without extraordinary (ie greenhouse) winter protection
  • ColdHardinessGeneral - the general accepted cold hardiness zone based on review of onnline sources
  • ColdHardinessPers - my personal cold hardiness scoring based on actual experiences relative to other cultivars grown and also from interviews of reliable friends and colleagues about their experiences in growing the same banana in their USDA zones.
  • TasteDescription - general taste description and average of personal ranking by various growers
  • Pests - known pests of this cultivar
  • SDisease - known diseases that this cultivar is susceptible
  • RDisease - known diseases that this cultivar is resistant to
  • Wind - resistance to wind
  • Pictures - local file links to display the various pictures
  • ResearchNotes - all the research note compilations that are intended to be searched locally
  • Links - online links about this cultivar
  • DateAcquired - (personal use only) date when this cultivar was first acquired
  • Sources -(personal use only) where the cultivar was acquired, or possible listing of sources and other nurseries
  • Price - (personal use only) price, including shipping and handling, or cost of gasoline trip to obtain from friend
  • PersonalNotes - my own personal notes about this variety as it performs in my yard

Last edited by JoeReal : 10-24-2006 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 10-24-2006, 06:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Excellent Joe!
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You're welcome!

Perhaps we can also add a datafield of members who are currently growing the listed cultivar and if they plan to give away, trade, sell them and for what price.

Like for example, I'm more inclined for you to come and dig up the pups according to my directions, and they're yours for free, but check with me first if I have something extra. I hate digging them and shipping them away, it is too time consuming, no matter what the price is. But for trades, I'm more inclined to do all the work myself.
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Old 10-25-2006, 06:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ditto....
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

Good Idea
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

OK guys and gals, here's an update!
A ton of progress has been made so far! The wiki is installed and is being populated with help topics, templates, task lists, guides to getting started with the wiki, and etc. things along those regards - in addition to a few pages on specific banana genera, banana species, and banana cultivars.
The map function seems very promising, it's also been installed. I'm spending a bit of time on this integration so that hopefully we can get it where its really easy for folks to add their markers to the maps to show if they are growing a particular banana, and where they are located.

As far as the data rollout, please get me your datasets as soon as you can. I've spoken with a few people that (understandably) need some time to prepare them, and I've also had some sent over already. If you are planning to submit some info for the initial rollout, please get it to me asap, it would really help.

I'd like to extend a special thanks to Ty Strode and Randy Strode at Agristarts for allowing us permission to use text from their database of bananas and incorporate into our wiki. They've spent a great deal of time gathering this info. Allowing it to be disseminated on our site is very kind of them.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yeah, I find this idea with the banana data base very good. It will help to inform about banana species and cultivars (hardiness, possiblities for cultivation in cold climates like in Germany) and my book is but only in German and for the German speaking area and German speaking people, it will also reach German speaking people without internet. The data base will be also one addition for many readers of my book who are also speaking and understanding English in the addition of their German mother language. My book will describe 52 species and cultivars, it will contain some surprises. But it is also important to reach with my book reades who are speaking German only or are speaking English not so good.

But the pics from Häkkinen and INIBAP could only to be published in the data base if INIBAP and Häkkinen do permit. Without the permission of them it's not possible. But everyone of us might publish his self taken photos from his fruiting and flowering plants for the data base.

Best wishes
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:19 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Banana database at bananas.org?

Joachim,
Did Häkkinen and INIBAP contribute photos for the book?
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yes, they contributed photos for my book, they permited me to publish their pics in my book. But without their permission it's not possible publish the same pics in the data base because of the copyrights of the pic authors.

But many of the forum members do have good pics from their bananas so that the members will permit to publish their pics in the data base.

Best wishes
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:35 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Just wanted to update this thread and give a big thanks to Ron (the flying dutchman) for all his help with getting the info put into the wiki lately.
Thanks!!

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