A Most Mature Banana
September 7, 2009 § 1 Comment
There is a 25+ foot tall banana that grows up along the southern side of Mission Santa Clara de Asis. The bananas are small and I don’t know which variety. This dried flower had fallen onto the walk.
The earliest known domestication of banana is at Kuk Swamp in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, possibly as far back as 10,000 years. Kuk Swamp also provides evidence of cultivated Taro in the early Holocene. The people of Kuk independently developed cultivation of crops, several thousand years after the first known cultivations of grains at the Euphrates in late Pleistocene northern Syria.
The banana variety most widely used today (think Chiquita or Dole) is cloned from a single genetic source. Panama disease, Black Sigatoka and Banana Bunchy Top Virus will eliminate our precious Cavendish banana as a viably product in 10 to 20 years. According to the 1999 U.S.D.A. census of agriculture, the banana is the world’s most important commercial fruit crop. Damn! I love bananas. A hard learned lesson in mono-cropping.