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Going Bananas

By Eugenia Jones

With approximately a dozen banana trees measuring up to sixteen feet high thriving at their home in Stearns, Buddy and Gail (Corder) Wilson are enjoying a bit of the tropics in their very own backyard. The couple began planting banana trees (technically, herbs) five years ago when Buddy found a man selling dormant banana sprouts.
“We began by planting four sprouts,” Gail said. “They looked like dead sticks with root balls on them. The plants always have baby sprouts (or suckers) coming up around the main plant. We started out with four and now we have twelve!”
This year, the couple are enjoying their first harvest of bananas.
“This is the first time we’ve had fruit,” Gail remarked. “We’ve got two hands (bunches.) Soon, we’ll cut the bananas off the tree, and then we will let them ripen. We hope to have some good bananas to eat.”
Each year after the first frost, all of the huge leaves are stripped off of the banana trees. The trees are then uprooted and placed in the sun to dry. After the trees dry out, they are placed in the couple’s garage for the winter.
Come spring, after danger of frost has passed, the couple dig holes and replant their banana trees for the coming year.

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