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March 06, 2013 - A North Carolina banana is small but sweet. About half the size of its Costa Rican counterpart, it grows from a single tree in Chatham County. There it winters inside a building at the Plant in Pittsboro. After the April frost, it sunbathes in the North Carolina heat and humidity until late fall.
"My husband wants to be able to say bananas can be grown in North Carolina," laughs Tami Schwerin, executive director of The Abundance Foundation, which is located at the Plant. The group educates people about local food and renewable energy. It also is exploring local solutions for agriculture in the face of climate change.
Although the Schwerins don't have enough bananas to sell now, the tropical fruit could pop up in North Carolina farmers markets by mid-century. And if global temperatures continue to rise, as they're expected to do, it's not unthinkable that by 2100 local bananas could sit in bins alongside new heat-tolerant varieties of North Carolina apples. read more>>>