Today we got to visit a banana plantation near the Caribbean, which was a lot of fun to say the least! Our tour guide and speaker was super funny and loved to present the banana production process to us in a very fun and interactive way. He taught us a lot about banana production and how the farmers prioritize sustainable options for the bananas.
First off, the man explained to us that the Dole banana farm is in a risky spot because of flooding. However, water is vital for the bananas’ growth, so the farmers have no desire to change locations. Next, we learned a lot about the production process which was really interesting. The drainage system, cable way system and overhead system are all set up on the farm to have the most efficient process. The drainage system gets rid of the excess water during floods. The cable way system is like a highway for the farm in that it transfers all the materials for the farm including fertilizer. Lastly, the overhead system consists of one cable above the farm that keeps the plants standing tall. These cables are located every 5 meters and the plants hang from them.
Next, we learned more about sustainable options that help the bananas grow and develop well. They do use plastic bags because that is the best way to ensure the quality of bananas, but they do recycle all of the plastic so it is still a very good option. The plastic bag protects bananas from wind that could cause bruising, it protects the bananas from insects that could cause diseases, and it locks in the moisture and temperature of the bananas without the outside climate getting in. Then we learned that the ribbons are also very important to the bananas. The ribbons are used to tie bags, they are color coated to note the age of the banana bunch, and they keep track of inventory.
Overall, having an interactive experience at the banana farm was so much fun and it truly taught me a lot! I’m very conflicted on where I would rather work, but I think I would want to work at a banana farm because there is so much to do and it is close to the Caribbean. Despite the heat, I think I would have a lot of fun working at a place like Dole!