I don’t do anything to deserve the many pretty pineapple plants (couldn’t resist the alliteration) growing in my yard. They are such a forgiving plant. I started with fresh pineapples from the store, once long ago, and have not bought very many since then. The tops get cut off and if they are laid on the ground where they can touch soil, they will find a way to root themselves and survive. They have a life cycle of about 18 months, so depending on when you plant, you can expect some to be coming ripe every 6 months. Right now I am seeing most of my next batch slightly past the flowering stage. A few are big enough to be ready probably in June or July. I do not water or weed, although I’m sure the harvest would be better if I did.
The taste of homegrown is exceptional – I rarely find pineapple in the stores that tastes as good. As they begin to mature they turn yellow, little by little, and become fragrant. This is when the critters in my yard start to gnaw on them. I haven’t figured out how to protect the plants yet although I’ve tried a lot of things (wrapping them in cloth, putting cages over them, making sleeves out of plastic milk jugs… nothing works). I’m not even sure who the culprits are, but likely squirrels or rats. Because I have so many plants, probably 3 or 4 dozen, I usually get enough for us to eat. But I have to be diligent. Nothing is more disgusting than watching a nice, big pineapple approach picking time and then on the day I go out to pick it, it is half eaten or lying on the ground picked clean.
This is what I’m getting when I eat my pineapples. They are high in vitamin C, and B complex vitamins. They have some vitamin A as well. They have a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain, which is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting, and anti-cancer substance. They have a large dose of fruit pectin which is a soluble dietary fiber. Round it out with good amounts of minerals – especially copper, manganese and potassium.
I just enjoy having my own mini-plantation of pineapples.