Banana stem is soft, rich in water and nutrients, which is a good growing environment for short-term plants such as spinach, kale, water spinach…
Banana stem is made of sheath, layer on top of layer, very soft and contains a lot of water. Therefore, this is the ideal environment for short-term plants to grow. Grasping this feature, Kenyans came up with the idea of growing short-term vegetables on banana sheaths.
First, they used a knife to punch large square holes in the trunk (not hollow) and then put soil in. After that, farmers perform seeding or planting vegetables in the hole. Currently, this method is taught by the 23-year-old Kenyan youth, Yongo Otieno Wycliffe, to members of the SHARE (Sustainable Housing Agriculture Reaching Everyone) project.
Banana stems that are suitable for growing vegetables are those that have already been harvested. These stems are still fresh, so they contain many nutrients, helping vegetables to grow better.
For some of the arid locations in Kenya, this is a useful method as it allows growing in a variety of terrains without over-irrigation. In addition, this feature helps people save space and scarce water resources for daily life as well as other activities.
In addition to the perforating method, Kenyans also devised a way to cut out the intestines of banana trees to make pots of passion fruit instead of plastic bags. Dried banana peels, banana leaves can also be used as a place to grow seedlings.
Growing vegetables on banana stems does not take up too much space. Therefore, this is a solution that can be applied in both large and small scale models such as families. Plants that are short-lived and whose roots are not too large can be applied with this method, for example: spinach, kale, morning glory…