Homesteading Experience cont.
The property came with two large clusters of banana
trees.  One directly behind the home, and the other
next to the back shop.  In the future I plan on building
a raised bed area behind the home, and
transplanting all of the bananas into this one bed.   
Currently the trees are putting out lots of small trees
and spreading further out into the yard, and not
producing much fruit.  The plan is to build a large
raised bed out of cinder block, and back fill with lots
of compost and organic matter.  I'm hoping that the
deep compost will help too protect the trees during
cold winters, and hold moisture during hot summers
and drought.  The raised bed is planned to be beside
the home in the back yard, close to the current
location of one cluster.  I am also going to
disconnect the drain from the shower in the master
bath, and redirect the grey water into this raised bed.
With some luck, I hope to get these trees producing
an abundance of fruit, instead of just multiplying.  
As you can see from the picture on the left, I am
getting a little fruit from the banana trees.  I
actually harvested two clusters of bananas like
the one on the left last year.  I learned that if you
leave the bananas on the tree, they will not
sweeten up and taste like the bananas we know
from the grocery store, instead they will stay
starchy.  The trick is to wait until the fruit has
reached it's full size, and then cut off the stock
and hang the bananas in a shady area with good
ventilation.  I hung mine from the rafters of the
back porch.  When you harvest the bananas like
this, the starch in the bananas will convert to
sugar as they hang there, and within a short time
the bananas become sweet.  As for production, I
have recently learned that if the banana tree is
putting all of it's energy into producing baby
trees, it will not produce fruit in most cases.  As
mentioned above the future plan is to transplant
the banana trees into a raised bed, and set up an
irrigation system.  Once this is done, I will be
proactive at removing any small trees that sprout
up.  I'll remove the small trees from their mother,
and transplant them into pots which I will
hopefully be able to sell and produce a little
income.  One important note for those of you
who do not know.  Once a tree produces a stock
of bananas, that particular tree has fulfilled it's
life and will die.  So you must be careful and not
remove all of your baby trees, once production
of fruit begins or else you will end up without
any trees.
Working on the guest bathroom.
Picture on the left is what it
looked like originally, and the
picture of the right is the remodel.
The toilet was fairly new and in
good condition, so I left it in
place.  The sink and cabinet were
completely ripped out, as well as
the old light fixture.  I installed a
pedestal sink, which really
opened up this small bathroom.  I
also removed the old mirror
which was glued to the wall and
installed an oval mirror with a
medicine cabinet.  To finish
everything off I installed a nice
new faucet, and a light fixture that
matches the ones in the rest of
the house.  The tub and shower
in this bathroom were in fairly
good shape.  I replaced the
shower handles and shower
head, and after texture, paint, and
a new vinyl floor the guest
bathroom looks modern and nice.
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