Monday, 18 March 2013

You’ll Go Bananas!

Driving north of the Placencia peninsula it is difficult to miss the acres of bananas. It is true that Placencia is known for its perfect barefoot beaches, its diverse cayes located between Placencia and the Great Barrier Reef, its tranquil tours through the Monkey River, the jungle, Maya ruins and the unbelievable snorkeling and scuba diving reserves such as the Silk Cayes, Glover’s Reef and Laughing Bird Caye National Park. However, these are only a few of the activities Placencia has to offer. Recently, the Sagitun Farms located near Riversdale on the Placencia Peninsula has opened its doors to the public offering a fantastic opportunity to learn all about growing bananas while walking amongst acres and acres of bananas. The billboard on the Placencia roadside reads “you’ll go bananas!” and I concur, you will go bananas, after visiting the banana farm!

Super fun, educational, interesting, awed, are but only a few words to describe the tour around the plantation. Bananas are one of the only fruits that bear all year round and it is commonly found all over Belize, and the world. However, did you know that bananas were once considered a rare fruit in North America & Europe? History has it that bananas didn’t reach North America until after the Civil War. Consequently, it then became the number one selling fruit in America!

Our tour on the banana farm was booked and we were ready to go bananas! Entering the Sagitun Farm I was taken by surprise, they were lines of bananas the entire road in, it seemed to me as a hidden community/village! They had everything in this area from housing, schools, churches, to a police station. We met with Evin, our tour guide, who made us feel right at home.  The tour started with a brief ten-minute video on the history of the banana production in Belize and around the world. It is here that I learned that bananas are not grown on trees, as it is commonly believed. Bananas are actually grown on herbaceous plant (herb), not a tree!

We were then taken out in the farm where we walked amongst the bananas and met with the Farm Manager. The walk down the banana trail was very informative and interactive. We witnessed firsthand what it really takes to grow and harvest bananas to be sent off for exportation to the United Kingdom. Sagitun Farms takes pride in producing quality bananas; therefore the fruits that are processed, packed, and shipped all meet the very high standards of the European Union Commission Regulation (EC).

For me and for anyone that enjoys natural healthy snacks you will enjoy the end of the banana tour. After all the walk and learning about bananas your tummy will definitely be calling out for some bananas! Evin was kind enough to take us back to the main office where she surprised us with crunchy, delicious banana chips accompanied with a drink of our choice. The tour was incredible, it is definitely worth visiting the banana farm near Placencia!

If you are planning to spend some time on-land in Placencia be sure to have Patty book the nearby inland tour with Sagitun Farm!

It is bunches of fun for all ages!             

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