It’s just one silly person’s banana story, and not the whole reality. But, it would be wise to see the writing on the wall. I always think that, not just for bananas but for everything else as well.
This morning I walked down the street to the minimart to get my coffee (which I could brew at home but I get my little morning fix of news and convivial human company at the minimart), and my bananas (which they sell 2 for a buck, which is probably more expensive than the supermarket but the supermarket is a hard bicycle ride away, or a harder walk).
The coffee machine in the minimart was working, which is awesome because it is not always. My favorite goodhearted employee was there, and we talked about compassion and how to circumvent the political divides that are killing us all.
And, I went to grab my customary two bananas … only to find that the banana shelves were empty!
“What’s up, are you guys not selling bananas anymore?”
“We are, but for the past few days we haven’t had any shipments. There’s some bug that’s killing the bananas.”
When I got home from my beach walk I googled. Come to find out the worldwide banana crop is threatened. Actually I had heard this before, for some years, but never really had to pay attention. Now it has washed up to my shores.
I was surprised, but not. Supply-line things are happening all around us. And no matter what the supposed reason is, I think it all pretty much boils down to one thing: Our cushy reality is running out.
From the article: “At the moment the Cavendish bananas are grown on a vast monoculture, meaning not just TR4 but all diseases spread fast. During one growing season, bananas can be sprayed with fungicides from 40 to 80 times.”
In Ireland, a potato famine wreaked havoc and prompted a lot of Irish people to immigrate here in the early part of the last century. Supposedly they had started only growing one kind of potato.
Meanwhile in Peru and elsewhere, sensible people were growing thousands of different varieties of potato. They still are.
And so I say … Hey Florida Permies!!! What kind of bananas are you growing and how much would you sell them for? Or how much would you charge people and cities for classes in how to grow bananas in a sustainable way?
A couple of banana trees in my yard are putting out fruit for the first time ever. Two bunches of bananas. Green still. We’ll see what happens.
Cities have no trouble finding money in their budgets to grow ornamental turfgrass, and mow it and spray poisons. Fruit trees and other edible plants should be a solid item in the budget also — not something we have to beg grants for.
On a related note, I’ve been meaning to share with you this article by Umair Haque at Eudaemonia & Co: “It’s Not a Supply Chain Crisis — It’s a Failing Economy.” “One way of life — artificially cheap, easy, thoughtless, mindless consumption — is coming to an end. Maybe, though, you think I exaggerate. Let’s go through a small list of goods for which supply is now crashing. …”
And a final thought: Low-footprint living is a gift we give ourselves. A gift that keeps on giving. And it doesn’t get stuck on cargo ships!