Harvesting Bananas on Maui
You might have wondered... how do bananas grow? How do you get them down off the tree? Did you know that there is no woody tissue in a banana plant? The "trunk" is more like the consistency of rolled up corrugated cardboard, and very juicy... sort of like celery. They grow in a clump with many stalks at different stages, so there's always a mature stalk or 2, and some younger ones, and also some keikis - little ones just coming up. Again think celery or rhubarb. You know there are no seeds to speak of, so they are propagated by removing the keikis and planting them. It takes about a year from planting to full growth. Very easy to grow here in Haiku, by the way.
When the bunch is just starting to turn yellow, that's when you want to cut the bananas down. All it takes is a sharp knife or machete to do the job. Saw through, chop or hack, and get ready to catch the bunch as it falls. You can grab the "handle" where the old flower is dangling.
Watch out for the banana sap - it makes nasty stains on your clothes (that don't show up until you wash them). The runny sap that comes out of the plant is very sticky and hard to wash off, and it will ruin your good clothes.
Chop up the remains of the stalk, toss them around the base of the plant to fertilize the next generation. Practice makes perfect, as you can see. There you have it, a nice bunch of bananas.
Now, if you need a nice home where you can grow bananas on Maui, please let me know, I can help.