13 Aug2008

Lakatan Banana Trees

by Marketman

lakatan1

I dropped by the agricultural fair at the Provincial Capitol of Cebu last week, in honor of the 439th Founder’s Day of the Province of Cebu, and was pleased to find several stalls with fruits and vegetables brought in by the farmers themselves. The first thing that caught my eye was this enormous lacatan or lakatan banana tree, complete with fruits, and some 40-50 little lakatan “suckers” or rhizomes that they had for sale. Since I was hoping to grow more of our own produce and fruit in the nearby city lot, I purchased 20 suckers for PHP500 (PHP25 or roughly 60 U.S. cents each), hoping that one or two of them would eventually yield a bunch of brilliant bananas.

lakatan2

Turns out the suckers or banana trees in general need SERIOUSLY rich soil and will take over a year to bear fruit, so that’s a big fat good luck to Marketman on this attempt to farm something… At any rate, I can always dream, and with a bunch of ripening lakatan bananas like those pictured below, you could say they sold me right at the display…

lakatan3

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Cumin says:

    What a bargain! In these inflationary times, isn’t it nice that you can still buy something substantial (rather than trivial junk) for 25 pesos?

    Aug 13, 2008 | 1:15 pm

     
  2. AleXena says:

    Lakatan bananas usually grow freely in plots near rice paddies. I have seen a couple of them in our town. I think the ones that grow without the need of a rich soil are the latundan varieties and the green ones, which grows even in abandoned plots here in the Metro.

    I wish you all the luck Market Man in your bid to grow lakatan bananas.=)

    Aug 13, 2008 | 1:37 pm

     
  3. Gay says:

    They should be easy to grow and very low maintenance. We just plant the suckers then live them to grow. But they do need patience so just plant them now and forget about them. They’ll bear fruit on their own.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 1:50 pm

     
  4. Homebuddy says:

    That’s the standard price for suckers. When the plant matures they grow little suckers of their own which you then have to separate from the mother plant. 20 suckers is a good number to start with. After a year, perhaps you can double your plantation. Bananas are easily grown and ROI is tenfold with the yield, not to mention the suckers for the next crop. The only drawback would be a typhoon, though! Good luck, I’m sure you won’t be buying lacatan bananas in the near future.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 3:00 pm

     
  5. Quillene says:

    Hi MM!

    M not a big fan of bananas but those ripe bananas you posted above look good!

    Aug 13, 2008 | 3:51 pm

     
  6. sister says:

    Well, you can easily enrich your soil, can’t you?
    Next you send your gofers out for horse manure. Are there still tartanillas in Cebu?

    Aug 13, 2008 | 4:42 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    Sister, yup, there are still sources of horse manure… :) Can’t imagine how large banana plantations do it though if they plants suck up so many nutrients…

    Aug 13, 2008 | 5:03 pm

     
  8. Apicio says:

    Is that what they really call them? I thought suckers are those insidious constricters that willow trees send out to strangle your sewer pipes.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 7:21 pm

     
  9. Sinta says:

    That’s an absolute bargain! Oh, I wish we could plant banana trees here that would definitely bare fruit. I also heard that banana trees actually walk. Well, not really walk. But move slowly from one location to another.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 8:37 pm

     
  10. EbbaMyra says:

    Oh wow, 20 suckers…hahahah, how much acreage do you have? By about 1 1/2 years, you will have double this number. Here in Houston, because of the unpredictable freeze.. and heat.. Bananas trees survive but does not guarantee to bear fruit because of the season. They are however nice decorations in the yard. Landscape look tropic with these trees, and you can tell a house that belongs to an asian or oriental if they have banana trees planted. Lakatan is good, next to unripe saba, they are delicious to eat when its ripe from the tree.

    Your picture reminds me of the San Isidro fiesta that I witnessed in Mauban Quezon. Houses were decorated with the farmer’s harvest, and some people put a whole tree like that as part of their design.

    Aug 13, 2008 | 9:47 pm

     
  11. Rico says:

    I never knew bananas were that tricky! I kinda agree with Gay. We have a small farm in the province, and my father just plants the suckers and lets it be.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 8:13 am

     
  12. Fabian says:

    I like the latundan bananas more than the lakatan. The big ones are scary

    Aug 14, 2008 | 9:36 am

     
  13. sonny sj says:

    MM,
    If somehow you can’t get the trees to bear fruit, at least you have a ready source of babana leaves – for kakanins, sumans, inihaws, or even for cooking rice sung-sung style – that is, a handful of raw rice grains are put in a pouch made of banana leaves before cooking, very similar to how the visayan “puso” is done.
    A word of caution: avoid harvesting the young spouts/leaves, it stunts the growth of the banana tree.

    Aug 14, 2008 | 11:22 am

     
  14. mona says:

    MM,
    Bananas are tricky, yes, but quite easy to grow. Plot them out at least 3m by 3m square and give them all the compost you can lay your hands on. Just make sure to leave 3 plants in each group (or stool) of bananas – one that’s fruiting, an adolescent, and a baby. Any more than that will tire out your mother plant and you’ll get less fruits.
    I’m quite sure you know how to make compost (or you’ll definitely find out how!) and with all the delicious meals you cook, you’ll have plenty of raw materials for your new stint in becoming a probinsyano farmer!
    By the way, when you thin out the plants, the center of the banana stalk or the ubad makes a darn good soup with a fat native chicken, lemon grass, ginger and a visayan bean called kadios…
    Welcome to the world of farming from a fellow probinsyana!

    Aug 14, 2008 | 2:07 pm

     
  15. Marketman says:

    mona, yes, we do compost kitchen scraps (vegetable and fruit) and garden clippings, but that is here in Manila. We don’t do it in cebu… need to get that started there, too… And I have had ubad before, but have no idea how to harvest it. Is it from a mature tree or a young one, and how far up do I use the center of the banana stalk? Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated…

    sonny sj, you are right, I can’t really go wrong with planting the trees (HERBS, actually… a factoid that always amazes me)… hmmm, never tried rice in banana leaves, though malagkit served on banana I have had…

    Fabian, you crack me up. You are perhaps the only reader that has left a comment on this blog that is “scared” of a banana!

    Aug 14, 2008 | 3:47 pm

     
  16. natie says:

    MM, just copied this from an ilonngo site…i remember our helper slicing the ubad thin and twirling with the knife at the same, to get rid of the “fiber”. it is quite fibrous!! you don’t have to chop–squeezing it with salt will mash it into small pieces:

    Ubad as it known to aklanons, must be harvested from young Saba plants (others use butuan)
    Young Saba plants are about 4 feet tall and have not yet blossomed.
    Harvest the ubad about a foot from the base to just below the point where the leaves begin.
    Peel off the tough outer layers to get to the tender core.
    Chop the ubad finely and mash with salt to remove the acrid taste.
    Spin a piece of stick (toothpick, bamboo, or wooden chopsticks) through the ubad to remove the web like fiber. It is now ready for cooking.

    Aug 15, 2008 | 6:28 am

     
  17. virgie says:

    Hi MM, I really wanted to show a very interesting picture of a banana plant that will WOW you but cannot send it as an attachment to this comment.

    why don’t you send me an email and I will attach the picture and you can show it to your readers.

    Cheers!

    Aug 18, 2008 | 5:02 pm

     
  18. mona says:

    Hi MM, just had a chat with our family kusinero (my dad is very old-fashioned; kusineras cannot compete, in his opinion!)
    Choose a young saba plant about 12 inches in diameter and cut it a foot above the ground. Peel off the outer layers until you come to the tender, white center (it’s called ploresen, so i think you’ll have an idea of how thick it should be). Slice the ubad VERY thinly while twirling the banana filaments off with your forefinger. Then, sprinkle with rock salt until it’s juicy – he said treat it the same way as you would amargoso – then squeeze well and cook in soup with onion, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, chicken, and your choice of kadios, green lentils or monggo. If you like your soup spicy, a few chilies would work very well! Season it with patis only, no salt.
    A twist we’ve put on it uses chorizo el rey and pork chunks instead of the chicken. Omit the ginger and lemon grass please and substitute bay leaves if you want to try this version.

    Aug 19, 2008 | 1:11 pm

     
  19. Marketman says:

    mona, thank you so much for that. I will remember this advice when I manage to get young shoots of banana… thanks! Virgie, my email address in is the contact portion of the site, up top. Thanks!

    Aug 19, 2008 | 2:52 pm

     
  20. virgie says:

    Hi MM, I tried your email but but it does not allow me to attach the picture. Cheers!

    Aug 19, 2008 | 4:47 pm

     
  21. gareth says:

    hi im going down the creek today and im gunna steal some suckers from a banana any advice on how i can remove the sucker and is it true that bananas grow very well on slopes?
    thanks!

    Feb 14, 2009 | 5:17 am

     
  22. Diane says:

    I have a friend who is trying to get rid of the banana trees in their front yard but have been unsuccessful. They have something like 15 or 18 that they have transplanted to their back yard from the front. Any suggestions on how they can get all of the banana plants out of their front yard so more will not grow there? Thank you. Please answer at my email : dsledjeski@gmail.com

    May 15, 2009 | 5:44 am

     
  23. Erin says:

    Hey, I was wondering if there was a place in Houston that sells banana trees? And I was also wondering, How much they cost in price?

    May 16, 2009 | 3:02 am

     
  24. Ramon G. Sandicho Jr. says:

    I will be retiring from work soon and I plan to plant lakatan banana commercially say about 3 ha. of land. How many suckers or tissue cultured lakatan do I plant in 1 ha. and who can I call or order the planting materials directly. I tried transporting a 100 TC lakatan to Iloilo and wow too much hastle.

    May 21, 2009 | 5:30 pm

     
  25. Johnny come lately says:

    In response to Ramon G. Sandicho Jr. In commercial banana orchard, you need around 1,900 per hectare. You can google “Lakatan Banana Philippines” for more details.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 1:53 am

     
  26. Johnny come lately says:

    Dear Moderator,

    In connection with my response to Ramon, please remove my last sentence and replace with this. “You may ask for feasiblity study from http://pcarrd.dost.gov.ph/message/viewtopic.php?id=1932&p=2. Everything is in their FS including the place where to buy TC of lakatan.

    Aug 31, 2009 | 10:33 am

     
  27. CHERRY says:

    I’m REALLY GLAD and ecstatic i have found this site!!!! THanks for posting your Lakatan piczs! This is a great help to me in making my Presentation! AGYAMANAK! Godbless po!

    Sep 23, 2009 | 11:53 am

     
  28. bryan sarno says:

    hi to all here,
    i have plan to buy and sell banana fruit im here in davao oriental im searching for a buyer here i have also a 5 hectare of banana and mango. i hope you can help me thank you so much here my number +639077318428 thank you so much more power to all god bless you…

    Nov 24, 2009 | 11:17 am

     
  29. jaallyrack says:

    how do i get Philippine banana varieties here in usa?? i want senorita, Saba or lakatan.who has some philipine banana suckers?

    Dec 13, 2009 | 10:36 am

     
  30. mark amado says:

    Can anybody tell me where to get Lacatan banana plant in the US?

    Mar 28, 2010 | 6:46 am

     
  31. yaret says:

    Anyone knows where to buy suckers in cebu? Me and my partner were planning to start banana planting.

    May 1, 2010 | 10:51 pm

     
  32. Rene says:

    Hello,
    Are you selling lakatan trees? can I buy 10 lakatan suckers from you? if yes where can I get it? I really want to plant lakatan banana tree in my backyarad.

    Thank you.
    Rene

    Jul 29, 2010 | 10:13 am

     
  33. irene says:

    Hello!
    My father grows lakatan banana trees in 3 hectares. He has to harvest it every 15 days and got more or less a ton every harvest. Lakatan banana trees really make good money if you grow them properly. Anyone who is interested to buy my father’s banana fruit, just email to irenebitoy@yahoo.com.

    Aug 4, 2010 | 10:47 am

     
 

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