Monday, January 04, 2010

First bananas

Something I have long wanted to do is to grow and harvest bananas. I told Gabriel this when we bought the coffee land from him -- in the days when he retained the lot beside ours as a place to play. He very soon had some palms on both lots. This year they have produced.

Gabriel sold his land to Gerado and Jimena, who live in Mexico City. They don't get over and so the past two years we have worked an arrangement with them whereby we clear their land in return for the coffee and bananas. It's a good arrangement because it turns into a kind of "gift that keeps on giving". We pay David and his family to clear the land and to pick the coffee, which gives them some income. In the case of good harvests we get surplus coffee to sell, which pays for what we pay David's family and means our own coffee production is cost neutral. In leaner harvests, like this year, it means we get enough coffee for a decent scale of production. And, it means that all the land is kept looking "occupied", which preserves its integrity.

When we arrived on the land yesterday we found that David had cut three big bunches of bananas. There is another big bunch still to come in the next few days and there will be further bunches later on. So we took one bunch to bring back to the house for ripening and gave two to David. We'll take the next bunch. That will keep us and Dona Angelita's family in bananas for a while. Meantime, the palms will clump and multiply, meaning that in another year there'll be more, and so on.

Here are some pix of the first bunch.


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