Monday, February 23, 2009

Yes we have our banana, we just have no bananas today

I know, you look at this title and think it’s another boring post about gardening. You are so wrong. Think outside those corrugated constructions. Or maybe, since all the unimaginative people have been bailing out of boxes and littering our landscape for the past decade, jump back in. That’s where the action is.

This is not another boring gardening post. This is another boring post about human interaction, physical exertion (no, not that kind), sweat (not that kind either), hope, desire (no, you’re still wrong), and patience.

Sometimes a banana is just a banana. And sometimes a banana is more than…well, at least equal to… especially if ice cream or warm buttered toast is involved…

Meet my new banana plant, hybrid Goldfinger.

Gold-feeng -ahhhh.

He looks little, brown and wizened at the moment. Actually, he looks dead; but then, you don’t look so hot yourself.

I bought him, after some ruthless dickering, for $45, mercilessly slashing the price by $5. “And I’m not charging you tax,” the nurseryman said, impressed by my brutal bargaining.

It was only while driving away I remembered there is no tax on edibles anyway.

Normally, I’ll make a few half-hearted jabs with a shovel, and then cram a plant into my hard, hard soil. If roots still spring above ground level, and they almost always do, I pile rocks on top. Some live, some die, some spend years in a coma – in fact, I consider my garden an illustration of many Darwinian principles. But that’s not good enough for my Goldfeengah.

I dug a real hole. My county extension agent helped in the excavation and measurements.

My county extension agent also took generous samples of the horse manure fertilizer for quality assurance purposes. After I tucked my Goldfinger in with some rich, rich compost, my county extension agent promised to return for further investigation. I will provide fencing and lawn furniture for his comfort.

In two months I should see a little green spear of hope. In ten months I should see some modest growth. In two years I should see fruit.

A pattern and timeline I see for many things in my life: Career, happiness, my 401K. A two-year window filled with work, hope, desire, and patience.

Plus a lot of shit.


  1. Your CEO is way cuter than the others I've seen. Oh KB, you and I are kindred gardening spirits. My yard is peppered with barely dug holes and I wonder why in the devil those azaleas just keep on dying! When Albert finally gets his tail down here, he's going to have a lot of hole digging to do. Two years before you can have a banana split is a long time to wait.

  2. I hope your Golden Finger will inspire a green thumb. I'm channeling the spirit of Josephine Baker on your behalf.
    What big brown eyes you have Mr. County Extension Agent

  3. Leave no stone unturned. Get to the root of the problem. Stem the tide! These budding hopes will soon bloom.

  4. He's the tree...the tree with the golden touch....

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  6. I have to be a fangirl for a moment and gush. You are such a fabulous writer, Karin. This is the coolest uplifting statement about life in our times. I just love the way big ideas cling to the words you write.

  7. I'm not seeing the big picture. I'm too excited thinking about all the little food parcels you get to craft from the banana leaves. I can just see them all stacked up in a little rucksack, you hiking a trail, tossing them aside after slurping up their innards...and by all means, cultivate a deep and personal relationship with the CEA. They're more valuable than any ole broker...

  8. Kisses Laurie. Many. Looking at the comments, I was beginning to think the metaphor ran away from me. And maybe it did. But since my extension agent is a retriever, I figured he could bring it on home.

  9. Laurie's right. My smile is as big and wide (hopefully not as yellah) as a banana.

    And just think of the compost you and your CEA can make with those peels and all that sh*t!

    Virginia, you should see my back yard. I'm letting the "native plants" grow.

  10. Like PJ, I think if I had a banana tree I would be so tempted by the potential for designer applications in the leaves (food packets, yes; and platters, plates, and placemats; and vertical statements on coffee tables; and oldskool fans) that I would deplete the thing of chlorophyll and never have a chance at fruit. Which I hope is not my metaphor for the next two years.

    Your metaphor, on the other hand, is quite perfect.

  11. Congratulations on burying the banana. I mean, planting the banana.

  12. I was listening to NPR today, and they had many different experts weighing in on the recovery bill. All agreed it wouldn't work, and all were very confident in what the actual solution should be. Problem is, they all had a very different solution. I want to take my banana plant and go live on an island for the next two years. An island with no access to news of any sort.

  13. Would those be the same experts who've been in charge until now? Their methods don't work, that much is already proven.

  14. Linda Dove, I stayed with food packets, a practical pursuit, because the possibility of placemats, plates, and other aesthtetic constructs is just too ehtereal at this point. We'll just have to wait and see what kinds of skills AH brings to the table.

  15. And while your on that island perhaps you might want to watch this

    Don't forget to keep your banana covered before the storm

  16. Go go Goldfinger.

    Some say they come to fruition in even less than two years. Can we cross our fingers for 18 months? Perhaps too much to ask.

    And, banana metaphors aside, yours is bigger than mine.

    Have a happy week!

  17. Hee-hee. Laurie is so right, just great writing.

    Awww, Albert has such a hopeful look. & I bet he doesn't even like bananas.

    My husband, a man with Libertarian leanings and student of Von Mises economic theory, is really good at ignoring ALL news... But then, he can also ignore most people. I bet there is no such luck for the likes of us.