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Egan Library Grown

The Egan Library produced a rare and wonderful treat: homegrown bananas.

Yoko Kugo with the fruits of Egan Library LaborYes, you read right: bananas. On April 5, the library held a banana tasting of ten ripe bananas from a potted tree on the ground floor. “This is the second time in over 10 years we’ve had bananas ripe enough to enjoy eating,” said Egan Library Director Carol Hedlin. “The first banana plants came from (retired Art Faculty) Alice Tersteeg many years ago.”

As she was watering the banana tree in late July 2009, student worker Yoko Kugo noticed the tree had produced a flower. “Then the flower kept blossoming. Flowers inside flowers. A couple days later, we could see bananas growing,” recalled Kugo.

“Sometimes there have been blossoms followed by small green fruit that never ripens,” said Hedlin. “After producing bananas that stalk will die back and new growth will come from the roots. Transplanting is a regular task for the ‘green thumbs’ on staff.”

The miniature bananas were plucked from the tree and placed in brown paper bags over the winter months. By early April they were ready for eating. Two ripened naturally. Kugo is a social science and anthropology major. “I’m doing field work,” she said of the banana project.


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