Most people think of sipping on pina coladas when they think of living the island life. However, people hardly stop to think where the ‘pina’ in the pina colada comes from. Pina , Spanish for pineapple, is the sweet yellow fruit that many of us have come to love over the years. And most of us go the grocery store or farmers market to pick one up. We head home to slice and enjoy our sweet pineapple.
But have you ever stopped to think of how the pineapple grows?
WHAT IS A PINEAPPLE?
According to Wikipedia, the pineapple is a tropical plant with an edible fruit, also called a pineapple.
The pineapple is indigenous to South America, where it has been cultivated for many centuries. The introduction of the pineapple cultivation to Europe in the 17th century made it a significant cultural icon of luxury. Since the 1820s, pineapple has been commercially grown in greenhouses and many tropical plantations.
Further, it is the third most important tropical fruit in world production. In the 20th century, Hawaii was a dominant producer of pineapples. However,, by 2016, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines accounted for nearly one-third of the world’s production of pineapples.
Raw pineapple pulp is 86% water, 13% carbohydrates, 0.5% protein, and contains negligible fat. In a 100-gram reference amount, raw pineapple supplies 50 calories and is a rich source of maganese.
The pineapple plant is often classified as a bromeliad. There are thousands of types of bromeliads. I recently started collecting various types and watched them bloom in various colors. Here are few example of bromeliads I have been grooming over the years. Some produce shoots of varying textures and colors.
Decades ago, The Bahamas had flourishing fields of pineapples on the island of Eleuthera where pineapple plants could be seen stretching for miles. Eventually, the Bahamas sold its pineapple plants to Dole and the rest is history.
Today, small local farmers still grow pineapples in Eleuthera in the settlements of Hatchet Bay and Gregory Town.
Which leads me to the most IMPORTANT part of this story.
MY LOCAL PINEAPPLE FIND
It was May, 2018 when I attended a conference in Palmetto Point, Eleuthera. I ran into a friend in the Governor’s Harbour airport on the way back to Nassau. It is common for Bahamians to carry local fruit back with them from the islands to Nassau since it is hard to find fresh local produce there.
I eyed a small box of pineapples that a friend had given to her . When I asked about them she offered me two and I gladly accepted. Upon my return home, slicing the pineapple revealed the most yellow, sweet fruit I had ever eaten.
Which made me think – since I am into gardening as well, why not try to plant the slip of the pineapple to see if I can grow a pineapple plant from this. Could it work?
I decided to have a go at trying to plant the top part of the pineapple (known here as the slip). Now, I had always heard that pineapple plants take 1-2 years to bear one pineapple. This always caused me to pause to think that one fruit could take so long to grow. However, I decided to test the theory and plant the slip in a pot and see what happened.
I carefully peeled away some of the leaves and then planted it in a pot with potting soil, watered it and let the magic start. Daily, I watered the slip. After two weeks, I saw the leaves start to grow out higher. Could this possibly be working?
I bought a Dole pineapple from the food store and decided to do the same thing and placed them side by side. However, the dole plant was much, much smaller and grew slower than the local pineapple.
Month after month, I continued to water it, in the hope that one day, I would be able to taste that sweet Eleuthera pineapple again. I counted the days and the months as they rolled on by.
On March 25, 2020 after doing the routine watering of plants in the yard, I approached my Eleuthera Pineapple plant. Staring up at me was something too amazing to even imagine – a little tiny bud – the pineapple fruit was emerging.
It did work.
So what is the moral of the story?
I started with an idea – a possibility that something could work. An idea that came from hearing about and reading about information that said if you wanted to grow a pineapple plant, plant the slip and wait 1-2 years to get a pineapple.
Take action on your idea – peeling away the leaves from around the base of the slip, and planting it in a pot with soil and watering it was the action.
Consistently attend to it – daily watering and making sure checking on the plant so that it remains healthy.
Being Patient – I already knew that it was going to take 1-2 years to get a pineapple. In times when I became anxious about where the pineapple fruit was, I had to remind myself to give it time.
Persistence brings results – after 22 months, a small pineapple fruit shoot peeped through the leaves. Despite the weeds that popped up and the leaves that turned yellow now and then, continue along the journey knowing results are in sight.
Believe in your efforts – don’t stop believing in what you are able to do. Keep that end in mind and you will get there.
This entire story is also an analogy for anything in life. We often want things to happen right away and don’t give things time nor the effort it requires to see the results at the end of the day. I could have given up and left the plant to die. I didn’t.
My pineapple now reminds me that in order to see results, whether it is in gardening, finances, career, hobbies, or any task that I set out on, I must value my idea, take action on it, be consistent and patient and the results will happen. Don’t give up on your ideas. They can turn into beautiful sweet pineapples someday.
You can develop your persistence as you turn your ideas of having your own home business into a reality. Start living the island life buy signing up for some free video workshops on how to get started here.
One more month and I shall be sipping pina coladas while I continue…
LIVING THE ISLAND LIFE!
Leave your comments below about your experiences in growing a plant or taking a long time for an idea to come to fruition.