Robert Brown thinks it’s just bananas that bananas are showing right now in his home garden on New Hope Road.
For one thing, this is only the third time his single banana plant has produced fruit in the 38 years of its life.
He planted it in 1983, from a cutting of the banana tree then blooming in the garden of his mother, the late Jackson County resident Mary Brown. She’d promised him then that it would “someday” bear him fruit. It did so for the first time in 1988, and then again about a decade later.
Nothing since then, though, until December of 2021. Last month, more than a dozen came along. They’re ripening now.
The timing shocks Brown. He can’t figure it out: In the other two fruit-bearing years, the bananas turned up in May and were ripe in July.
This isn’t the first time his garden has yielded oddities. More than four years ago, it made news when it produced a volunteer turnip that grew very tall—more than three feet—and fared healthy in the ground well beyond the normal lifespan for such a plant. He finally cut it down, and he and his wife ate the leaves-they were mild and tasty he said, free of the bitterness usually associated with turnips.
The bananas he’s tending now are higher on the tree than they were in 1988 and in the next blooming. Both of those times, they were about shoulder high. These are at roughly eight feet. He said he’ll have to climb a ladder to reach them.