Saturday, 26 January 2013

The Pineapple Express

We took a trip out to the pineapple fields of the Dole Plantation, established in 1900 in Wahiawa.
There are over 28,000 pineapple plants per acre, each planted by hand in soil coloured red from oxidised iron caused by decomposed volcanic ash.

Once planted it takes about 20 months for the first fruit and then another 14 or 15 months for the second fruit.   After either two crops in 4 years or 3 crops in 5 years the field is knocked down and the cycle starts all over again.

Pineapples come in all different shapes, sizes and colours and have incredibly long leaves with sharp serrated edges.

The pineapples are also harvested by hand and then loaded onto a conveyor that takes the fruit to a bulk bin.   About 80% of the pineapples are sold as fresh and the rest as chilled or turned into juice.

We took a trip through the pineapple fields on the Pineapple Express, 

 looking across Tanada Reservoir towards the mountains.

There are some interesting and unusual things for sale in the shop, mostly they’re pineapple inspired things, but one that made us smile was macadamia nuts with spam, can’t imagine what they must taste like!

Individual pineapples or boxes of pineapples are available to buy, they’re packed into special boxes and when you leave the island you’re checked by the Agricultural Department and if your pineapple isn’t properly packed you won’t be taking it anywhere.    

We ate lots of truly delicious fresh pineapple while we were on Oahu, and were quite tempted to bring some home with us, but as weren’t at all sure whether or not we were allowed to bring them into the UK we decided against it. 

Have fun, we are!

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