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Author Topic: Ensete ventricosum  (Read 2424 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

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 03:36:20 PM »
Thanks for the info, I've downloaded the videos. As for Mayagüez, I wouldn't count on much from them any time soon. Never mind the current issues with governments budgets and hurricane aftermath, they don't seem to have much in the way of plants available to the general public at the moment, especially not the more exotic ones. At least, that's what I remember from a few attempts to score some exotics that they were supposed to have. I think they currently deal more in conventional trials/experiments than in collecting exotic stock. If I need stock, I can usually count on the Ponce sub-station, but there's not much diversity of species there.

And that does seem like a very good use for them. I've considered raising pigs before, I'm not sure if I'll go through with it, but it's definitely something to think about. I have a lot of stored information to stew on in that regard, and the ECHO method looks like one of the best I've seen.

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2018, 07:40:15 PM »
Hey all. Since there's practically zero chance I'll be able to get clonal material from Ethiopia, and I'm pretty sure the species on the whole is edible (never mind varietal quality), I've decided to give this species a shot, growing it by seed. I'll probably buy a random variety from eBay (I'm already watching a couple of listings). I'll germinate them, grow them out, and once they have some decent size to them (maybe typical banana size), I'll harvest one for the corm. I'll leave most to harvest when they're older and bigger, to make note of any differences. If it seems like a halfway decent crop from seed (quality and production-wise), I'll probably add it to my stock permanently. If not... Well, you'll know. I plan on making my usual evaluation, so I hope to give every relevant detail when posting the results. I'm not keen on the idea of processing the pseudostem just yet, so I'll mainly be tasting and evaluating the corms. I'll use the pseudostems as compost, to help build the soil. If it's as promising a crop as I hope, I'll be making some attempts at clonal propagation as described in Lost Crops (core out the corm, fill with soil, wait for sprouts). Here's hoping I get good results from this! Starch roots are my favorites.  ;D

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2018, 04:20:18 PM »


The adventure begins.  8)

Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2018, 03:16:00 PM »
Two viable seeds, one to harvest, one to multiply. Could've been better, but it'll do for my current experiment. Now I gotta find a good place for them, 'cause I doubt I can get a worthwhile crop in a tiny pot. They're looking good so far.




Caesar

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Re: Ensete ventricosum
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 02:28:44 PM »
I dug one up to inspect the corm. It's looking good! I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I'll be planting one out eventually to get a good-sized corm. The other one will stay in a small container while I try to force it to produce offsets.

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