For the past month or so I have been keeping a close eye on my one bunch (also known as a hand) of bananas. My plan was to watch over them on so I would not have a repeat of last year when the monkeys ate most of them.
About 2 weeks ago I found 2 banana peels and a mango seed next to the banana tree. I am not sure where they got the mango from because our tree is bare but I knew it was time to take action, they found the bananas!
I covered the bunch with a large black trash bag and tied the end with 2 overhand knots. I thought my preventative measure worked until I was surprised to find a banana peel near the tree a few mornings later. I checked the bag and it seemed like it was still securely tied.
I retied the knots around the bunch this time using 3 overhand knots. It did not take long to find out who the culprits were. While I was watering my plants that same morning I had to go back to the house for gloves. As I was returning I heard my neighbor say something about monkeys. When I looked I saw 3 monkeys at my tree.
As I slowly approached the monkeys they moved and I noticed that one was a mother monkey as she had the baby hanging upside down clutching her underside as she quickly walked to the fence. All 3 monkeys eyed me suspiciously perched on top of the fence as I surveyed for damage. Strangely, I found the bag still securely tied.
When I spoke to my neighbor Marlene, she informed me that she saw the monkeys and tried to shoo them away. “De monkeys jus look at meh en keep tryin to undo de bag”, she said. Marlene also said that she was stunned when she saw the monkey pull a big fat banana from inside the bag! So, were the monkeys actually untying the bag, removing the fruit then retying it? The bag looked undisturbed to me, who knows?
Anyway, that settled it, I went inside for a knife and cut down the hand of bananas. I was amazed that I was unable to hold the bunch of bananas up with one hand as they fell to the ground. I weighed the bananas when I made it to the house scale and found they were 30 pounds! I estimate that there were about 60 bananas in all.
I decided to let the bananas finish ripening inside. Besides, most growers pick and ship the their bananas green.* We have already started giving bananas out to our neighbors although we will keep some in the freezer for smoothies. So far we have bananas, soursop, bajan cherries, mangoes and sweet basil all ready to put in the blender.
I thought everything was settled but I forgot what I was dealing with. The next day, there were monkey tracks throughout my garden. Nothing was pulled up or destroyed but I think they were giving me a warning and threatening me about what could happen if I cross them again!
Did you know that a banana tree only bears fruit once! After you cut the bananas you can cut the tree down but in most cases more little saplings will grow. Right now we have about 16 trees at various stages of growth.
Below, link to Bajan Green Monkeys part one.