Nov 11, 2008

Come mister tally man, tally me banana

This morning's forecast for Hale Ono Loa called for moderate trades, south swells and sunshine with occasional windward showers. This was also yesterday's forecast, the day's before and tomorrow's as well. "Booooorriinngg," you say? Well, I suppose it could be if one doesn't enjoy watching things grow - really, really fast.

Food crops in the tropics can mature at such a phenomenal rate of speed that plants like the papaya can be a seedling one November and bear fruit by the following Thanksgiving (true story as the photo here illustrates - mahalo to the ladies in condo 117 who tend this amazingly prolific papaya.

Then there's the staple of ice cream splits & Elvis's sandwiches. The banana plant (our next-to-the-swimming pool specimen with baby bunch pictured above) grows leaves up to 2 feet across and 9 feet long in the time it takes you and me to compile a Christmas shopping list. Once "it"* decides it's time to bear fruit, you better be prepared to start baking as you could end up with 80 ripe bananas at one time. You can't possibly drink that many smoothies, pina coladas or milkshakes.

Here at the House of Good Living we're also proud of the lime tree which looks like a ficus gone mad and has the biggest, most fragrant limes your diet Coke has ever seen. Throw in the couple dozen coconut trees and we have the makings of something tasty for pau hana** tonight.

*Bananas have female flowers while the last part of the very bottom of the stalk are tiny, truly tiny, little male fingers. Which dry up. And then drop off.
**literally "work done" in Hawaiian

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