Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fear & Loathing with bananas

Strange but true. Every time I see bananas I get weird flashbacks. And I rarely eat the fruit any more. Knowledge brings fear. Boing Boing's recent trope on useless banana consumption tools has set me off again. I broke BB etiquette and self-linked to an old tale. Here's a visual reboot:

The backpacker banana crew.

Me and the local banana farmers at the Garradunga Pub on my last day.

The banana "trees". It's actually called a pseudostem. They are pretty resilient but they're not tree trunks. Practically hollow, they're more like a giant stick of dodgy bamboo. Little wonder cyclones can throw them about like straws.

The packing shed. Bunches of bananas covered in plastic protector bags have been cut down off the top of the pseudostem as per the earlier post. In here, the "hands" of bananas are whisked off the stem with a butcher's knife and put on the carousel, where they're sprayed with water. They're then arranged into cases and weighed, before being stacked on a pallet and wrapped for transit.

A hard earned siesta.

There are many things to beware of when farming bananas. Leptospirosis, taipan snakes, spiders, crocodiles. This was not one of those occasions. A trio of baby possums were living in this bunch. As opposed to the NZ variety, the Oz variety of possum are an endangered species and look somewhat different from our own feral pests.

Note how green the bananas are. For presentation reasons, they're picked that way so they can ripen on their journey south to market (All these bananas were for domestic consumption in Melbourne and Sydney).

The last possum escapes.

Friday night cheap meals down the pub.