Tuesday, October 1, 2013

NK Lago Farms, Pahokee, Fla: Plantains & More

Pahokee, Fla--NK Lago Farms grows plantains and bananas near Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Co-owner Nick Larsen, started the part-time plantation in 2009. "I started growing bananas because I thought it would be easy but it isn't." It takes a lot of work to grow bananas and plantains Larsen's style--with little to no herbicides and no pesticides.

Nick Larsen of NK Lago Farms, Pahokee, Fla.
Larsen has 600 plants on two pieces of property. He grows 31 varieties of plantains and bananas, some are experimental and grown at his quarter acre plant nursery, "If it does good here it goes up to the other farm in quantity."

NK Lago Farms bags their bananas to keep off bugs,
Pahokee, Fla.
He has inventive pest management system, "The reason I bag fruit is the black spots," he says, pointing to a Hua Moa plantain with tiny black spots created by thrips, "It still tastes good but it's easier to sell fruit that looks pretty."

To control white fly he uses soapy water and to control weeds he mainly uses his hands.

Nick Larsen with Hua Moa plantain stalk, NK Lago Farms,
Pahokee, Fla.
The Hua Moa plantain is a Hawaiian variety that can grow up to one and a half pounds in weight per fruit. It tastes like a Cuban Manzano plantain, according to Larsen. It can be eaten green as a vegetable or ripened to yellow and eaten as a fruit.

FHIA-17 banana variety will soon replace grocery store
Cavendish bananas, NK Lago Farms, Pahokee, Fla.
Larsen also grows a delicious disease resistant hybrid-banana called Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA-17). It is the variety that will eventually replace the favorite grocery store Cavendish banana. "It tastes like what bananas used to taste like," says Larsen.

NK Lago Farms sells fruit directly from the farm, through a CSA program and at the Wellington Green Market in season (Nov to May). To find out more you can call them at (561) 727-9553 or email nklagofarms@aol.com

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