Bunches of bananas

This thread is to avoid hijacking this thread.

When is it decided how many bananas are in a bunch? Is it when they are picked, or are the entire “tiers”* picked, and broken down later on? And is it intentional that by the time they get to the supermarket, all different sizes are available? I’ve never seen only large bunches or only small, i.e. before the vultures swoop down and break them apart.

*And what are these “tiers” called?

Looks to me like bananas are shipped in the cardboard boxes that you see in grocery stores, and in the sizes you see displayed.

Row or tiers are called hands.

During harvest, entire bunches are cut from the plant. At the processing plant on or near the banana plantation, they are then further cut up into hands and then smaller clusters for packing and shipping.

Here’s a video on the Dole harvest and packing process.

:eek: :smiley: That’s it, I know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to work on the Flying Banana Farm!

Its a good video, but near the beginning the narrator makes an error. He says something like “when the banana plants grow back”. After the banana plants have produced fruit, that’s it. They do not grow back. The plants are cut down, because they only produce once. While these “mother” plants are growing, “pups” emerge and they replace the mother plants after they have produced and been cut down. These pups eventfully produce fruit and the cycle continues.

“…Bunches of bananas…”

My first thought was this thread is going to be about all the members of the SDMB :stuck_out_tongue:

Depends on how you look at it. While the original main stem doesn’t grow back, the sucker shoots that emerge from its base (“pups”) are technically part of the same plant, so the plant in this sense does grow back.

Among crop plants, bananas are unusual in being a sterile triploid hybrid that is normally incapable of reproducing by seed.