When you think of Oklahoma, “banana” isn’t usually something that’s associated with the Sooner State. That could soon be changing, thanks to the green thumb of Galey resident Solly Rigley.

Rigley and her husband Ron have actual banana trees, something that generally isn’t common in the state (or the country, for that matter). Each spring, for the past five years, Rigley brings her banana trees out of the cellar and plants them in her yard. Then once cold weather hits, the trees are dug back up, chopped in half, and hauled back inside their cellar to keep safe from frost.

Like bamboo, new banana tree shoots spring up each year from the older plants. This means that every year more and more banana trees are harvested and stored in the fall. “They just keep on multiplying,” said Rigley. “We have so many of them that we give them away now.” Rigley said that she hasn’t heard from the people that she’s given trees to, so she’s not sure how the trees are faring outside of Galey.

The original banana tree was given to the Rigleys in 2003 by a friend. Rigley said she’s been an avid gardener all of her life. And if she’s not busy trimming leaves, chances are you can find her trimming hair; she’s worked as a stylist at Procuts for around 20 years now.

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