You Can Grow Pineapple at Home–Really.

There are no seeds; there’s no pod or root; all you do is cut off the crown of one pineapple and plant it. That’s it. Then wait 20 months. Easy peasy.

Bonus: one crown yields 4-5 pineapples; and each plant has three harvests–the gift that keeps on giving.

The Growth Cycle

Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Why is Pineapple So Expensive?

It’s not solely because it comes from far away places, like Hawaii–where I visited the Dole Plantation.  It’s because nearly all of the work is done by hand.

Taking the crowns from cut fruit and planting them? By hand. A skilled laborer can do over 1,000 a day–that’s 1/3 of an acre. It’s literally backbreaking work; and the thorns are prickly and sticky–I experienced this myself angling for photos. The plants and I had choice words as I squeezed my way in. I was wearing a tank top; the workers wear heavy, long-sleeved clothes and mesh goggles in 80 degree heat. Good times.

Laborers in the fields at the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii

Harvesting is also done by hand. It’s quite simple, actually–just twist off the fruit. It’s resting on the leaves and hanging on by basically an umbilical cord.

Harvesting Ripe Pineapple

Why is Pineapple So Cute?

How to Cut Pineapple

The bigger the eye, the sweeter it is–the color actually means nothing! Don’t pick a soft one–yuck. It can last five days on your counter or 10 in the fridge.

Twist off the crown; then cut it half lengthwise, then quarters–don’t take off the skin first, as it wastes too much fruit. Then cut out the core; and then follow along the rind, like you would with a melon. And finally, wash the fruit in water to rinse off natural acids–this will make it sweeter.

Hawaiian Pineapple

 

The World’s Largest Maze? Yes Please!

They say it’s the most difficult maze on the planet–if I can do it (in 48 minutes); it’s not. Now, I don’t know if they’re talking about starting at one point and making your way to the other, because that would be annoying. They don’t send you off that way. Nope; you’re given a card and you look for stations throughout, where you draw stencils of sea urchins and hula dancers when you find the right place.

Helpful (cheating) people have created sub-paths within the twists and turns. So when you see them, you know you’re close. A game of Marco Polo would be awesome here!

It’s three acres and two-and-a-half miles of pathways. The fastest time to complete the maze is eight minutes. That person must be savant.

Maze at the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Hawaii

Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality

Ever noticed pineapples at the entrance to neighborhoods–they’re on the top of the entrance signs. They’re a symbol of hospitality from colonizing days. Europeans–who weren’t locals–would put out the indigenous fruit as a sign of their commitment to the place and the people, and so others would feel welcome in their homes.

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Do you grow fruits or vegetables? Think you’ll try growing pineapple?

Disclosure: Thank you to the Oahu Tourism Bureau for providing complimentary tickets to the Dole Plantation.

4 Responses

12.02.12

No, I don’t think I’ll be growing pineapple, but now I know how to pick out one and then how to slice and dice it. Thanks for the lesson! Once I tried a vegetable garden that included corn. We harvested a single ear, popped it into boiling water; delicious, but decidedly not repeatable for my patience level.
Really enjoying your Hawaii posts. Kudos!

I live in a city so growing anything let alone pineapple would be impossible but still this was a fun read. You seem to be making the best out of Hawaii. Like this maze for example. Haha, good find.

P.S Your photo with the / in the pineapple is cuter! 😀

12.02.12

I would so plant a pineapple. Can they take the winters in Georgia? Well I will find out and act accordingly. Thanks for the Hawaii adventures. I want to go and use your blog as my guidebook!

Nancy – go. Go now!

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