Wednesday, 14 November 2012

I can't resist a bargain!

My Red Banana plant is 4 feet high and it was reduced in price from £9.98 to £1.   Apparently it will need a bit of mollycoddling over winter then I can plant it in a sheltered but sunny spot in Spring.  It needs to be kept inside if the temperature drops below 14 degrees and given 8 hours of light each day.  Once it has been planted out it will need to be wrapped up warm to survive next winter.  After 9 to 15 months it MIGHT flower and produce fruit but the bananas will most probably be inedible! 

I was beginning to think I should have saved the pound ... then I read about Mike Hillard.  He bought three plants; he wasn't expecting them to bear fruit; he wanted something to provide shade in his solar room.  It was a pleasant surprise when they grew to 16 feet and gave him 70 bananas!  So there may be hope yet!

102 banana cake recipes ... click here

 *  Alexander the Great tasted a banana in 327 BC whilst in India.  He is credited with bringing the fruit to the Western world.

*  The first recorded sale of bananas in England was in 1633.

*  In 1829 a plant collector from Maurtius, Charles Telfair, sent two banana plants to a friend in England.  They were sold to the Duke of Devonshire who grew them in his famous heated greenhouse at Chatsworth.

*  The name 'banana' is Arabic for 'finger'.

 In 2007 we visited Shimbwe in the foothills of Kilimanjaro.  The village is surrounded by coffee and banana plantations.  I had never seen such poverty!

We worked in the local school for a week.  The pupils arrived at 7.30am and spent an hour cleaning the building and tending the kitchen garden before lessons.  The garden provided crops for the school dinners - they didn't grow the crops, they didn't eat.
I met one child who had to leave home at 5am every morning in order to walk to school barefoot and in the dark ... the register showed he was never late and he had not missed a day in seven years!
They were taught in English - their native language is Swahili.
They didn't beg for money - they asked for a pen for school.
An adult's wage is 30p a day.


These Christmas cards cost £2 for 10 from Street Child Africa.


  1. A roller-coaster of a post. Very interesting. It's given me food for thought.

  2. Thank you very much for this sublime post. I know Kenya quite well, have been there a long time ago and it's still the same. Children barefoot to school, hours walking. Once we gave a 10 years old boy a lift, he invited us to his pover home and introduced us to his mother. She offered us some eggs...... and indeed, we have given pens and pencils to the children. But your Banana is a real bargain, you can give it a try. I cannot resist bargains either what concerns plants or bulbs.

  3. In South Africa schools are encouraged to start food gardens. Every little helps. It was my mother who first said to me, a hungry child can't learn. She has always supported School-feeding - maybe a peanut-butter sandwich, or a cup of soup in winter. But I was disconcerted to read about Friday brown bags for some American children - who would otherwise have nothing to eat till school on Monday.