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Author Topic: Ensete ventricosum  (Read 773 times)

Caesar

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Ensete ventricosum
« on: July 26, 2017, 11:33:56 PM »
Regarding Ensete ventricosum... ¿Are all (or most) of them productive as food, or are the ones grown in Ethiopia superior for the purpose? (¿Can I buy seeds of any type and have a top quality food Ensete?) If only the select types, ¿where can one obtain seeds of those types? I ask because it's impossible (or nearly so) to find E. ventricosum seed online of types explicitly intended for food. Most of the seed is sold for ornamental purposes, and even the "generic type" seeds of the species are only mentioned as an edible crop in passing as trivia (with no strong assertion as to whether the type offered is productive or of good quality). I'm not really asking if you can eat any E. ventricosum, I'm asking if all are of good quality and/or productive (and if not, where to find such good types).

As a tangent, ¿could you use banana corms and pseudostems similarly?

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 11:04:05 PM »
Bump.

Nothing? Anyone?

sahai1

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 05:10:32 AM »
on the tangent, yes all banana hearts are edible, however you would have to stew them very long, and there is very little soft heart, the rest is very stringy and hard to chew.  Like coconut hearts, palm hearts, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, there is the 'softest' and best part which is at the very center, and then the quality degrades the further you go out.  I feed my pig whole banana trees, and the pig eats them as something to do with her day.  Here, some commercial pig farmers will chop up bananas and boil with feed.

Your average dwarf williams, or other large stalk dwarf banana only produces a heart about the size of a banana.  It is not commonly consumed.. like your post, it is a famine food. 

Thanks for your interesting post, never heard of that type, but here have Ensete glaucum, that does not have suckers.  The flowers have some herbal tradition.  I have over 20 types of unique bananas, but I stay away from anything with seed.


Future

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 05:38:14 PM »
Lost Crops of Africa has some good info on enset.

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 10:25:41 PM »
Lost Crops of Africa has some good info on enset.

Good call! I checked it out, and apparently there are several clones (not discussed in detail), some of which are particularly esteemed for their corms. I think I'd rather grow the corm types, as I'm fond of root vegetables and they don't require the processing effort nor the maturation time of stem types. So there's my answer: there are specialty types, and they're not commonly available (not the offered seeds online). I think I'd require a direct contact in Ethiopia in order to acquire it, and even then, Bananas are one of the few overtly illegal crops to import into the island (¿Unless one has the proper permits perhaps?), and I think that extends to Enset.


on the tangent, yes all banana hearts are edible, however you would have to stew them very long, and there is very little soft heart, the rest is very stringy and hard to chew.  Like coconut hearts, palm hearts, bamboo shoots, artichoke hearts, there is the 'softest' and best part which is at the very center, and then the quality degrades the further you go out.  I feed my pig whole banana trees, and the pig eats them as something to do with her day.  Here, some commercial pig farmers will chop up bananas and boil with feed.

Your average dwarf williams, or other large stalk dwarf banana only produces a heart about the size of a banana.  It is not commonly consumed.. like your post, it is a famine food. 

Thanks for your interesting post, never heard of that type, but here have Ensete glaucum, that does not have suckers.  The flowers have some herbal tradition.  I have over 20 types of unique bananas, but I stay away from anything with seed.

Well, given their tiny size, I think you're right in qualifying them as a famine food, not really worth it to grow the crop for that particular purpose. I'll stick to growing bananas for their fruit.

As for Enset, the Ethiopian type doesn't seem to sucker either. According to what I just read in Lost Crops ( https://www.nap.edu/read/11763/chapter/11#189 ), at harvest time they take some of the corms for propagation purposes, cut off part of the upper stem, core the whole thing to the center of the corm and stuff it with soil and manure; that induces bud production, sometimes over a hundred per corm.

Do you grow them for ornamental purposes? Ensete glaucum looks very nice, but I think it requires cooler highland conditions more than Enset.

pineislander

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 03:46:39 PM »
Try the videos here about ensete propagation.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=propagting+ensete
The USDA folks at Mayaguez may possibly have some or know a source on-island. They would be good people to know anyways.

With any of the Musa, good to know that none of the stems need go to waste if you are willing to use it for pig food.
I've seen this in action at a demonstration farm here at ECHO:
https://www.echocommunity.org/en/resources/579add28-94df-4a20-aeee-71a183989293

 

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