Papayas – About the easiest fruit to grow next to bananas, and can be used in many ways.
- Green papayas is used to make the classic spicy papaya salad, it is shredded to make the bulk of the salad.
- When a fruit starts to turn orange, cut it from the tree and set on a counter in your kitchen in 1-2 days it will turn all orange, then peel, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the many black seeds, set those aside. Then cut the fruit lengthwise a few more times and you have a nice fresh fruit to enjoy.
- Seeds, if you do not have any papaya plants and have the space in your yard, throw a few seeds out there and they will grow! You can also dry the seeds in the sun for a few days and using a mortar and pestle, you can grind these up to make a seasoning close to black pepper.
- Plants can be male or female. Here is the difference, female plants sprout flowers right near the stalk, where the leaves come out at, these are the preferred plant as they have the largest fruit. Male plants send out a long, 2-3 foot long stem and the flowers appear at the end of that stem. Male plants can have fruit as well but are much much smaller.
Bananas – Easy, and they reproduce, no need to keep planting them.
- Banana plants are not trees, the truck that grows, and can be large, is called a pseudostem. When a banana plant flowers, it sends out other stalks that start to grow.
- When the bud opens, you will start to see the bunches of bananas, after you see about 5 or 6 bunches, cut the bud off (keep that). Leaving the bud on will continue to make bunches, but each will be smaller and smaller.
- The bud can be cooked in a curry.
- When the bananas start to get yellow, cut the entire bunch down, they will ripen on their own now. Then cut down the plant, as it will not have any more bananas, it only has bananas one time.
- You can drink the liquid from the plant, it is perfectly safe to drink in a survival situation.
- The stalk can be eaten as well, sliced thin and mixed in a curry.