Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Harvesting My Pineapple

About six or seven years ago I bought a pineapple at a local market and after cutting it up, decided to plant the top (crown) of it. I had read up about it and learned that is the way to grow one. It took root and eventually got too big for my pot. My boss had a big, empty pot in his office—an office with windows—and he invited me to transplant the pineapple into that pot. Over time, it got bigger and bigger, and its leaves stretched out to over 6 feet.

Fast forward to February of this year: on the 23rd of the month, the first day back in the office after my trip to Japan, I was in Paul's office and in the course of conversation, he said perhaps it was time to do away with this giant plant which was taking up most of the counter. I thought about it and said I would look around the office to see if there was another spot where I could put it to still get natural light.

The next day, while watering it, I happened to look down inside the plant and saw what looked like a small pine cone. What? What is this? I called Paul over to look. "I think it's growing a pineapple!" And from that point on, Paul was all in favor of keeping the plant in his office.

Looking down into the pineapple plant

A few weeks later

About the third week of March, the pineapple had sprung up on a stem about the size of my index finger and little purple flowers appeared on what would become the "eyes," starting at the base of the fruit and progressing upwards. The flowers each bloomed about one day and then closed up. From that point—according to the Internet—the fruit would ripen in six months. As it turns out, mine ripened in five months and one week.

About a month later, checking it every day, the most change was in the expanding diameter of the fruit and the growing crown. The stem was reaching higher, too.

By mid August, the pineapple fruit was getting bigger and the crown was also growing. The fruit had gotten so heavy, one day I found it leaning over about 90 degrees, so I attached the venetian blind cord to it and staked it up.

 A week or so later, the pineapple showed definite signs of ripening. Ten days after that, when I came into the office, it was totally yellow and ready for harvest. Another sign was how sweet it smelled.
Totally ripe pineapple, ready to be cut from the stem
LaVonne, severing the pineapple from its stem
Yours truly posing with the long-awaited pineapple
Once the pineapple was totally cut by LaVonne, I portioned it out for some of the people who had come along side me in the journey. We all exclaimed how delicious it was—the best we had ever had. Too bad it took so long to grow.
Minutes after it was eaten, I planted the crown (seen on the table) in a smaller pot to start all over.

No comments: