Back in November, 2018, we visited Paul & Jude‘s Hole in the Mountain Farm where they grow Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. This variety of pineapple is less acidic and less fibrous than regular pineapples and can be eaten in large quantities without feeling unwell. It also tastes better.
We did the tour that they currently offer weekly. It is fantastic and definitely a must-do activity when on Kauai. They go through the farming process and you get to both eat freshly cut pineapple as well as harvest one and bring it home. We decided to try planting our crown. We weren’t sure if we would be successful as pineapple plants can become relatively large and can’t be left outside during the winter in our local climate. It did grow and now, more than three years later, we finally harvested our pineapple!
Our pineapple fruit finally started to grow at the beginning of the year over the holidays. It continued to grow until flowering but then seemed to just stop. The dried flowers remained on the fruit, making us wonder if it would ripen or not. Also, this photo is not some attempt at being artistic. This photo is 100% level – the pineapple was too heavy for the stalk to hold it up. We delayed this for awhile by tying the stalk to a stake but that didn’t work for too long.
This is how the Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapples are supposed to appear when ready to be harvested. Kind of like a small regular pineapple that you would buy in the supermarket. Obviously, ours didn’t quite look like this.
Here is an attempt at a portrait of our pineapple! The leaves growing out of the crown are a bit weird. When the pineapple finished flowering, it completely stopped growing. But recently the crown’s leaves started growing again, resulting in this odd appearance.
We cut open the pineapple just like one would a normal pineapple. Here’s how it looked with the crown removed. Definitely looking good!
Slicing the pineapple in half, again everything looks fantastic!
Ready to eat! The flavor was fantastic though a tad sour. Definitely a success! We ate half and put the rest into the refrigerator to be able to eat it cold. We were tempted to freeze the remainder and make Phrosties but decided it didn’t make much sense given the small quantity that we have, the amount that would be stuck to the blender would be significant.
Ultimately, trying to grow pineapple in the northeastern US is probably not a great idea unless you have a greenhouse where it can be kept warm throughout the year and also get enough sunlight. But we made do, putting it out on the deck during the summer and back indoors during the colder months, about half the year.