26 january 2022
Did Pratte take on the challenge of growing
tropical plants in our non-tropical climate
just to prove he could do it?
WITH the sun filtering through the
leaves, the effect is almost like walk-ing
through a green cathedral with
colorful buds and blooms adorning
the leafy walls. As a bonus, the large leaves provide
welcome shade in the summer.
The banana growing effort gets a fair amount of
attention. Pratte frequently welcomes neighbors who
drop in unannounced. One recent group asked if they
could show the plants to their parents. Pratte said yes.
And the parents seemed duly impressed.
So what does he do with all those bananas? Private
sales? Farmer’s markets?
“I give them away,” he says. “All of them.” He considers
briefly before adding, “But the farmers’ markets might be
an interesting idea.”
Left and above: Ben Pratte harvests plantains for friends
before digging up the plants for winter. Opposite: Male flow-ers
form after the female flowers have bloomed and started
developing into fruit.
ALLISON POTTER ALLISON POTTER