Lynchburg, VA - One Lynchburg woman has managed to grow banana trees outside her Lynchburg home. Bananas typically grow in the tropics where the average temperature is a humid 80 degrees. The only states in the U.S. with significant production are Hawaii and Florida, so getting a tree to be successful here is more than a challenge.
Sharon Gregory loves bananas. Her labor of love dates back three years. She says it has not been easy.
"I dig them up, I put them in a pot and put them in the dirt and take them inside and keep them all year," said Gregory.
In the spring she replants them outside. Lots of TLC goes into it.
"My little bit of heaven down here. I just thank God everyday," said Gregory.
This time around, she paid extra special attention to her fruit.
"Every time one of these little limbs comes up and breaks off, then it produces the little bananas," said Gregory.
She feeds the tree banana peels, peach peels, and miracle grow, even talking to it.
"Grow, grow, I want bananas please and I got bananas this year," said Gregory.
This summer, she finally got her wish.
"All of a sudden, something happened this year, it started differently than usual. I kept watching it, and I kept taking pictures of it and I said, 'Oh I'm going to have bananas!'" said Gregory. "Yay, I got bananas!"
Those who have witnessed this process could not be more excited for her.
"All my family said, "I want a banana, I want a banana, I said Lord, I ain't got enough to give everybody one," said Gregory.
So far, the 15 foot tree has produced three bunches of bananas
"I would have liked for it all to have produced, but I'm happy with that. We'll try again next year," said Gregory.
She has several baby banana trees she is nurturing in hopes to get them to produce fruit in the future. She says her passion for banana trees began when her brother gave her one as a gift seven years ago.