Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It starts Monday night and roars in Tuesday morning...

You'd think after over 2.5 years we'd be used to it, but alas (teaching Shakespeare this term), this is not the case.  My husband works on Oahu, and he leaves Tuesday.  Monday nights, the mood in the house, even if I try to perk it up, is a bit off.  We generally don't sleep well that night, and then we wake up to say good-bye for the rest of the week.  Everyone is a bit cranky, and our 12 year old emotional weathervane gets edgy (or, like last night, falls dead asleep and ends up not doing his homework - which causes all sorts of drama in the morning).

It isn't actually that different; I assume the bulk of the responsibility for animal and kid care even on weekends, so it isn't like my work load is any more.  It is just the worry of everything.  What if this is the week the car breaks down?  What if the water pump stops working?  Those what ifs will get you every time.  Things have happened in the last two years that would normally be "his job", and I always, with his help over the phone, been able to figure them out - but I still worry.  Have to stop that.

On a good note: he got these bananas off the tree yesterday.  (They are sitting in our "burn pile", so excuse the cardboard packaging - not very attractive) This bunch weighs about 50 lbs and these are not dwarf trees.  He had to cut the top off the tree entirely, which is fine, because once a banana tree produces a stalk, that's it for it's productive life.  These are Cuban Red - they start their lives deep red, turn green, and they will get sort of yellow-pink.  They are very sweet, and golden colored.

I am glad that the other varieties we planted are dwarf varieties.  We have some Williams and some Lacatan.  It will be awhile until they have bananas.

Now, I have to decide which project is more urgent - figuring out pasture situations for the sheep so we can feed less shipped food, making separate housing for the chicks, since I don't want to put them in with the older hens, or the perennial problem of the washing away garden....I am considering ordering electric netting to make temporary grazing areas for the sheep.  Anyone have any experience with it?


Faith said...

A banana tree only produces fruit once in it's life? Or can you cut the trunk and it will grow another that will fruit?

My, I"m learning all sorts of things here! LOL

I spent my whole adult life raising four kids while their dad was gone on a truck. So I know what you mean. It's always been mostly me, but it was always nice to have the extra help when he was in town.

I used portable electric netting for our goats. They already eaten up everything in their pen, and I wanted them to keep the weeds down elsewhere. It was kind of a pain to move, made much better the more people there. But it was nice to have it. It worked well enough. We just moved it daily, across the open pasture.

Seems it was always getting hung up in the weeds, so it didn't last more than two or three years before it came apart. But I think I only paid something like 80 dollars for it.... I am not sure about that, though.


Chai Chai said...

The electric netting is wonderful!


What I wouldn't give to be able to grow my own banana's.

Chai Chai said...

Whoops, here is a better one.


I love Shakespeare, Othello is one of my favorites.

NancyDe said...

Fatih, nope, once is it all it gives, but at the root, the keiki grow up and make more bananas. You start with three plants in a triangle and they grow into a thick patch. Out of my original three, I probably have 15 keiki growing. I dug up some to trade for different varieties.

I think I probably will have to pay a lot for shipping, but it might be worth it.

You have four kids, too? It's quite an adventure, that's for sure.

Chai, Thanks for the links to your pics. That helps!

I like Othello, too - my son did a version of the play in his sixth grade theater class. It was enjoyable.

I wish I could grow apples and peaches!

Grandpa said...

There's no point in worrying in advance - first it doesn't help to solve your problems, second some of the things you worry about will sort themselves out anyway, or may not even come true.

I normally chop away banana tree that has been harvested and leave two suckers, as they call them, to grow (from many that will sprout).

I've always thought that electric fencing would be costly.

Nan, pop over to my site I have a quiz for you!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

Wow I never knew that about the banana tree. With the size of that bunch, I imagine you make lots of smoothies. Yum I can almost taste the freshness.

Lisa Mi said...

Do people ask you for the stump and leaves? I've had people ask so they can be use them for the imu or for a floral parade (really!). If it's an imu ask to throw in a turkey or pork butt as your reward for donating and lugging that stump/leaves. Yummy!

My dad's friend gave us a couple of banana trees (dwarf) when we moved to Kaneohe and they have multiplied. It's neat how the keiki just keep popping up. We froze about a dozen off of the last bunch and I used it to make banana bread this past weekend.

NancyDe said...

Grandpa, we chop down the banana tree after we harvest the bananas, too. Otherwise, the can fall! Amazing how the keiki can just multiply, though (I guess that would be the same thing as a sucker - baby plant. I know logically that worrying doesn't do any good, but seem to be made to worry. I am working on it. I will head over to your site now and take a guess - I looked at it before work and have been pondering....hmmm...

Beyond, we make smoothies, banana bread, and my kids can eat a tremendous amount of bananas. Anythng over ripe or not used, I freeze for later.

Yeah, Lisa, I froze a lot of the last batch. I haven't had anyone ask, but you can't see the banana patch from the road - it is on the left side of the house toward the pasture. Mmm, now I want Kalua turkey....I did tell MB to offer the banana stalk to her teacher for Makahiki games. I use the leaves to compost with the horse manure. The horse manure seems a bit acidic, and the banana leaves tame it down. Also make really, really good mulch - you should try it when you get your rubber tree roots out of the raised beds. Run a lawn mower over them and they work great!

Faith said...

I found this neat photostream about banana harvesting and growing.


Fun conversation. :o) Gardening adventures! I need a tropical greenhouse to try all these fun fruits.


NancyDe said...

Faith that is a good photo stream! I love my o'o - use it for everything!

Lisa Mi said...

Thanks Nance - I'll have to remember to tell Michael about mulching the banana leaves. Good idea. And he loves using his o'o, too.