Our first pineapple
When we moved to Queensland, I had never thought about how pineapples grow. I figured they grew on trees but I didn’t know they were kind of a tree in themselves. Should I be embarrassed about that? Kind of like kids who think bottles of milk grow on trees I guess! Then, when John Palmer told us we could throw our pineapple tops into the garden and they would grow into new pineapples, I didn’t really believe that it would happen. I would half-heartedly throw our pineapple tops into the garden just to get rid of them – too bulky and spiky for the compost bin, ditto the rubbish – may as well add to the jungle that is our garden and forget about them, maybe they’ll break down eventually.
The other day, John Palmer (affectionately referred to as our garden angel), popped in to knock the seed heads off a few noxious weeds, say hi to the kids (which usually means teach them about an edible weed in the garden and then sing them a song), praise the parts of the garden that are growing really well, and be on his merry way. But this time, there was a surprise: “Your first pineapple is ready” What?? He showed me where it had grown completely unbeknown to me. It had already fallen off its perch. In case you didn’t know (and I certainly didn’t!!), the new pineapple grows on TOP of the old pineapple top. What a strange and fascinating fruit. And you know what? I swear it was the best pineapple I have tasted in my life – no joke. John says you need 100 pineapple plants in your garden to be able to eat them regularly when they are in season. Yum yum. I will be religiously putting pineapple tops in the garden from now on.
Update: one important point I forgot to mention is that pineapples grown from old pineapple tops take 2 and 1/2 to 3 years to grow!! So don’t be expecting pineapples to come popping out of your old tops in a hurry. It really is a matter of throw it into the garden and forget about it. Even more awe-inspiring and something to savour slowly and enjooooyyyy. Slow Food at its best I say.