Coast tree goes ba­nanas

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - RE­NEE CLAY­TON

A tree has gone ba­nanas in north Auckland.

A ‘‘mas­sive’’ bunch of ba­nanas was grown this sea­son on the Hibis­cus Coast.

Frank Belk has been liv­ing in his Whanga­paraoa home for 15 years and has never grown such a big bunch of ba­nanas.

Af­ter grow­ing ba­nanas for many years, Belk went to cut the bunch from his tree on Oc­to­ber 27 and was sur­prised by the num­ber in the bunch.

‘‘I have never seen so many ba­nanas on our tree. I pulled off the rub­bish bag on the top of the bunch and was sur­prised to see there was an­other bunch un­der it.

He es­ti­mates the bunch weighs around 30kg.

The ba­nanas have taken around four months to grow and the tree was planted around 14 years ago.

‘‘We get many on there but have never had this many in one bunch. The only thing I do to main­tain the tree is give it wa­ter and cover the ba­nanas with a rub­bish bag some­times to keep the mois­ture and heat in.’’

Belk said the ba­nanas are a bit dif­fer­ent from the nor­mal ba­nanas that you would get in the su­per­mar­ket as they are a lot more sticky.

‘‘I usu­ally eat them with my wife and give them away to neigh­bours and fam­ily.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Sta­tis­tics NZ, most ba­nanas eaten in New Zealand come ei­ther from the Philip­pines or Ecuador.

In 2001 Man­ual Ka­bana made the world record for grow­ing the most ba­nanas in one bunch.

He grew a to­tal of 473.

‘‘I think there are around 100 ba­nanas on this bunch’’

Frank Belk

RE­NEE CLAY­TON/STUFF

Frank presents his big­gest bunch of ba­nanas.

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