Friday, August 28, 2009

Bananas & Pecans

I know I haven't mentioned this before, but we have banana trees! They are very frost-sensitive, so in order for them to actually fruit, you need to wrap the stems during the very cold months or when you know a freeze is coming. One of our trees must have been sheltered enough from last year's freeze by our shed/shack. Travis actually found some bananas! Please excuse the mess, most of this was inherited from the last owners. I know this picture isn't the best because the peach tree is in the way, but here are our banana trees. We have a few more close to the house, too.

Here, you can see that we have two "hands" of bananas. There would have been more if we would have watered them, but we didn't even know they were mature enough to set fruit!!

The thing at the bottom of this picture is the male flower. From what Travis has read, each stem flowers once and then won't produce again. So after this year, we should chop this stem down and let the others grow and produce. I just read that even the male flowers are edible and are sometimes used in salads in other countries!

We also have a few pecan trees, 8 to be exact. We have been watering these trees and they are loaded with fruit. Unfortunately, they have not been pruned like, ever, so the structure is horrible and now, because of that, we have a few limbs breaking under the fruit load.

I thought that I would take this time to give you some insight to how pecans form. I never knew this before, and you'll probably never need to know it!

This is the pecan in it's soft outer husk. This husk will dry down and crack open as the shell hardens and the pecan meat matures.

By slicing into the pecan, you can see the inner cavity. The liquid that has seeped out of the cavity is actually more of a gel substance and made of water which will eventually make the meat of the pecan.

The "skin" of the pecan meat has already formed, so I slipped one out to get a better picture.

Our pecans are nearly finished filling with water and will start to mature and dry down. We should be able to harvest our first crop of pecans in the fall.

Since our pecan trees have never been cared for or pruned properly, Travis will do some heavy pruning at the end of winter before the new growth comes on. This will give the trees one leader (or main trunk) and will give the trees much better structure for the future. With proper pruning, maintenance, and care, we should continue to have a nice pecan harvest with fewer limbs breaking each year as the trees grow stronger.


Karen said...

Wow! I never knew you had so many trees there. Soon you'll be adding fresh fruit to your farmers market stand. Are you going to set up a garden at your house too or just at your in-laws?

Sara said...

We're going to set one up at our house. It'll be nice to go out and work a little during nap-times, too. We're just going to put in a few plants for ourselves for fall and work up the larger garden area over winter.