Postcard from Highway One
#25: Bananas are A-Peeling

8 May 2003

I'm devastated!

It's always seemed appropriate that a fruit's favourite fruit should be bent, but I recently discovered that bananas aren't fruits. They're herbs!

This shocking revelation came to light during a tour of the Westoby Plantation in Carnarvon, after all manner of interesting instruction on fingers and hands and other such things.

For example, did you know that because of their high sugar content, bananas will boil in their skins if stored above thirty degrees Celcius? This can obviously be quite a problem in the tropical climes in which they're grown.

And apparently storage with tomatoes will turn them black faster than a black texta! This happens because the gas emitted by the ripening tomatoes catalyses the blackening process. So there's science behind the triffids that grew in the bottom of my fridge? Grew, that is, until I gave up and replaced them with soft drink cans!

For the potheads among you, did you know that you can get high on banana strings? You know... those stringy bits between the banana skin and the soft flesh inside? If you have enough of them, that is. Apparently you'd need a REALLY BIG packet of papers, because it takes something like thirty kilograms of strings (STRINGS, not bananas!) to have any hallucinogenic effect. So parents, if your kids suddenly start taking a HUGE liking to bananas, so much so that you're buying them by the tonne, be worried!

On a more serious note, the Westoby Plantation also grows tropical fruits like mangoes. You'll note that I didn't say OTHER tropical fruits? They're HERBS I tell you, HERBS!

And the shop, the shop was something else:

Not surprising then that my credit card left that shop $170 lighter. But before you jump to any conclusions, you may like to refer back to Postcard #6: Victoria Highway and Postcard #7: Lake Argyle. Both of these featured frequent references to a particular fan of mango jam.

It transpires that said person is a true mangophile, responsible by proxy for $125 of my total $170 expenditure at Westoby's: What did we ever do without mobile phones? The shopping list included various mango wines, mango jams and mango chutneys. And the mangophile's verdict? Westoby's mango jam infinitely surpasses the Kununurra version!

I can thoroughly recommend the tour of Westoby's Plantation. Conducted by the plantation owner who was a barrel of laughs, and at the bargain basement price of $4/head, it's worth the trip to Carnarvon just to do the tour! If you'd like further information on the plantation or their products, you can email Westoby's at

Cheers, Rob ;

Bananas on the tree: Little fingers
Bananas on the tree: Unidentified Appendages
Bananas on the tree: Little hands
Bananas on the tree: Big hands


© Rob Morgan 2003