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Old 07-29-2016, 06:28 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Growing bananas, citrus, tropical fruit in Canada...Canada Banana Farms

I want to try this. DH is already planning a greenhouse for me at the new place.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/meet-th...ario-1.3007500
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Old 07-29-2016, 06:54 PM   #2
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If he can keep the plants warm enough all winter, scale it up & make a profit - right on!
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:01 PM   #3
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I've been wanting to do this too. I realize there's a huge difference in climate between where you and I live, but it's still a challenge, even here in TN. I also want to experiment with a true bay bush/tree, and olives, and even coffee and tea. They'd all do well here from about May through mid-Sept., but would have to be overwintered indoors (although there a few places here in TN that are experimenting with outdoor olive groves). So they'll have to be potted and kept pruned.

But, now that we have the garage built, so DH can movs some stuff out of the big shed near the house, I'm hoping to build a small kind of indoor greenhouse there. It wouldn't have to be weather-sturdy, so just some PVC pipe and heavy plastic up against one of the inner walls. We run a small heater in there during the winter so I think I could keep the temp reasonable and I could up the humidity inside the plastic sheeting. There would be room to keep some herbs going year-round as well. And if my experiment with the outdoor hardy kiwis doesn't work out, I might try some of the more traditional type, even if it means hand-pollinating.

Part of it is just about the challenge; I like trying out new things. Part of it is also prepper thinking; I suspect bananas and bay leaves would be very valuable trade goods. I couldn't begin to grow enough coffee to trade but it sure would be handy to have our own supply, even if it's just a small amount. And, now that the Sjogren's has hit me, I'm finding that bananas are one of the few fruits I can eat without pain. So, instead of buying stock in Dole, I'd rather spend the money and grow my own.

If you do get around to trying this, and so do I, it will be interesting to compare our results.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:29 PM   #4
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My biggest problem at the new place is soil...or lack thereof. Many areas of the property have exposed bedrock. It's not a problem to bring in enough soil for veggies, but I have no idea on depth for banana trees, citrus trees, etc. The half or two thirds of the property between the road and house is pretty heavily treed, so clearly there's some soil there. The Banana Farm vid I watched on You Tube said they dug down inside the hoop house to make room. I would have to possibly build walls to put the hoops on, AND bring in soil. Water is free (lake), wood (heat) available fairly cheaply, if not free. Some on our lot needing to be cleared, and my brother owns the 320 heavily wooded acres that we made syrup on. And his first careers was logging.

There are two properties at the top of the hill for sale. Both have maple for syrup, both are heavily wooded, both are "acreage" one has a good paying windmill lease. DH wants to start a wood pellet business, and return to making syrup. (We've got that multiple income stream thought process going on that we can't seem to kick. )
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:32 PM   #5
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I had a feeling there would be some real estate involved somehow, somewhere.
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:39 PM   #6
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She's turning into a 1 percenter on us... fast!
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Old 07-29-2016, 07:48 PM   #7
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Yep. TBM's very own real estate moguless. And to think that we knew her back when...

BG is a TV star; Hollyberry is an award-winning baker... pretty soon, we'll have to create a new sub-forum for TBM Celebrity threads.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:11 PM   #8
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Bank says no more mortgages until one is paid off. In 3...2...1...

In all seriousness, I would definitely have to have success at home, small scale, before we'd make a purchase. I would try my/our faves first. Avocado, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and bananas. Throwing in the usual tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc. too.

(Do NOT tell DH I want laying hens. Shhh.)

---------- Post added at 09:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:09 PM ----------

Forgot to add...there are gov't grants and loans for these kinds of things.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:34 PM   #9
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She's turning into a 1 percenter on us... fast!
Im doing O.K. too
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:35 PM   #10
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rb without a mortgage? Perish the thought! You'd probably have to get some help for the withdrawal symptoms!

I want to try avocados too. They're a favorite of mine, a nutrition powerhouse, and soft enough for me to eat.

(*Whispering*: If you're going to get laying hens, might as well go all out and get some guineas too. Noisy, but ticks are just about their favorite food.)

We got some free guinea eggs from a guy that DH works with and have managed to get 3 keets hatched and growing like crazy. I'm pretty sure we'll be getting more eggs so we'll eventually end up with a good sized flock. That will be a good thing because we're almost literally overrun by ticks. I've warned DH about the noise factor, which may be a problem when he's trying to sleep during the day. But he's pretty determined to have them, so have them we will. He also wants peacocks but that's a project for next year.

I wish I had taken pics the night the first one hatched. He was such a Proud Poppa when the little thing finally made it out of the shell! And he's convinced that he helped the birthing process by sitting by the incubator and talking to it and encouraging it to come out and meet the world. And now that they're growing, they keep trying to follow him around like a little harem.

Life on our farmette is always interesting.
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Old 07-29-2016, 09:54 PM   #11
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Er ... do you guys know how bananas grow?


Do you know that the whole stalk of bananas, dozens and dozens of them, all ripen at once? How many bananas can you eat at a sitting?

There was a banana plant at our rental house in Hawaii. They came ripe while we were there, and Mom, being a child of the Depression, wanted us to eat ALL of them. NOT one of the better varieties -- the neighbors said it was called an "apple banana." It didn't taste like either one. Those damned things were SOUR! I think the 3 of us choked down maybe a dozen, gave as many away to the neighbors as we could, and we still threw away several dozen bananas.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:45 PM   #12
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Might be a different variety than the puc, MA. In a video clip the man stated it's not the same variety that we all buy in a grocery store...smaller, sweeter, creamier. Their friends in Jamaica and DR told them they wouldn't feed the bananas we all buy in the stores to their animals!

I'll see if I can find a pic.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:51 PM   #13
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The plants I've seen for growing in the indoors/greenhouse have much smaller fruits and trunks. But I know it will still involve some creative pruning.

As for ripening all at once, DH and I both eat one a day and would probably eat 2 if they're small. And what we don't eat, I mash up with a touch of lemon juice and freeze in Ziplocs. They work great for smoothies, muffins and quick breads.
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Old 07-30-2016, 12:40 AM   #14
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Might be a different variety than the puc, MA. In a video clip the man stated it's not the same variety that we all buy in a grocery store...smaller, sweeter, creamier. Their friends in Jamaica and DR told them they wouldn't feed the bananas we all buy in the stores to their animals!

I'll see if I can find a pic.
Might be what the Hawaiians call 'finger bananas'. Those are GOOD, especially if you can find the red ones.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:37 AM   #15
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If the "apple bananas" were sour they weren't fully ripe yet. Unless they are a variety of "apple banana" I haven't tasted before. They're actually quite tasty once fully ripe.

Citrus, bananas, and olives are all quite doable as container plants. Avocados and mangoes are more problematic. They are not small trees though possibly there may be some dwarf varieties.

The biggest problem with greenhouses is heat loss. Canada has a burgeoning greenhouse industry so there should be advice for the climate available. Controlling heat loss so as not to cost a young fortune to keep the plants within growing and healthy is key.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:49 AM   #16
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FIL dug a 4' wide trench about a foot deep next too and right up under the edge of one of his greenhouses, framed it in, filled the trench with broken glass and put a plexiglass cover on it---the glass would soak up the sun and draft a ridiculous amount of heat into the greenhouse. I think everything was leftovers he carried of jobsites.

It's slightly more complicated than I described but it worked really well
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