When we came to Hawaii many many years ago, there used to be a Dole Pineapple tour. However, Dole has moved away and now there only one company in the U.S. that grows pineapples, called Maui Pineapples. We went on a tour and learned so much interesting info on pineapples!
There are tons of pineapples grown. The guide took us on a bus because it was too far to walk. Such a beautiful landscape of fields of pineapples and the mountains and ocean in the distance!
The plants only produce pineapples for two seasons, and then they plow them under. After two seasons, they produce smaller and smaller pineapples. Another interesting fact is that any part of the pineapple will grow new pineapples. I suppose they are like the zombies of the plant world!
A machine plows furrows and then workers insert each individual pineapple plant by hand.
After a few months, the plants look like this.
Pineapples grow at the end of each stalk. These are baby pineapples. They are so cute!
Here’s a closeup.
This shows how tiny they are.
The pineapples change color over time. They harvest them when they are different colors. Pineapples with more green get shipped to the mainland because they are less ripe and last longer.
The ones with more gold are sold immediately here in Hawaii, otherwise they go bad.
There are leftover pineapples because they don’t ripen at the same time. The harvesters go through the fields once. Pineapples that are left on the plant ripen into a gold color and eventually rot away.
The guide cut pineapples for us at different stages and we got to taste them. The less ripe ones have more acid and less sugar. The middle ripe ones had a coconut flavor and were very sweet. The gold (most ripe ones) were super sweet but not as coconutty.
We also went in the plant where they package up the pineapples. Stores buy them by the box.
We also went into the refrigerator. In one corner they stored the pineapple vodka they distill. I didn’t even know there was pineapple vodka.
Every two people got to take a box of pineapples home. On airlines, they let you bring on an extra box of pineapples without counting them as carry ons. Only in Hawaii! Poor kids were not feeling well but they wanted to go anyway. We all enjoyed tasting the delicious pineapple.
It was an enjoyable time learning!