Tag Archives: growing your own pineapples

I don’t know how this happened.

Remember my post from 2 weeks ago? The one with the pineapple update? The update where I said we probably had at least 4-6 weeks until harvest? Well, we went to Austin last weekend to visit the kids and came home to this:

Pineapple Harvest 6

I don’t know how this happened. They went from firm, mostly green and this:

Pineapple Close-Up - Aug2013

to completely, thoroughly golden-yellow ripe in 4 days. FOUR DAYS!

Side by Side Comparison - 4 days

I can only attribute it to:
A.) four days of intense Houston heat, followed by
B.) a good solid day of rain during drought conditions, and
C.) my lack of experience growing pineapples (even with 15+ plants)

We had no choice but to harvest them before they got too ripe, which was disappointing because we really had hoped the kids would be here to participate. Instead, The Complete Package & I cut them down. No kids; no celebration.

Pineapple Harvest 1

Pineapple Harvest 2

Here’s a peek behind the curtain at how we’ve accumulated so many pineapple plants over the past few years. Each plant, while it’s fruiting, puts off several shoots (ratoons) that can be removed and replanted to form new plants. Each of our four fruiting plants put off at least 2 to 3 ratoons.

Pineapple Harvest 3

Pineapple Harvest 4

I’m no math whiz, but if each pineapple plant produces 3 ratoons PLUS a pineapple fruit, that means you now potentially have FOUR (4) additional future pineapple plants, because you can replant the ratoons and replant the top off the pineapple fruit. We started six years ago with the top of a pineapple plant we’d bought at the grocery store. We now have over 15 plants because we keep re-potting the ratoons & pineapple tops. I joke about our mini-plantation, but it’s actually kind of true. They’re taking over our back porch. Two years ago, we harvested one lonely but gorgeous pineapple. This year, we got this:

Pineapple Harvest 5

Which brings me to our new little gadget I just have to show off. My friend Kirsten of Comfortably Domestic (my sister from another mister) and her four boys were so excited about our pending pineapple harvest, they sent us the new OXO ratcheting pineapple corer & slicer. Oh, baby!

Pineapple Harvest 2013- Ready to Cut

To use it, lop the top off your pineapple, leaving about 3/4″ so you can replant it later and become a semi-obsessed mini-plantation pineapple farmer like me.

Pineapple Harvest 2013- Lop off the top

We set the pineapples into a mixing bowl to capture any juice so I could make marmalade (always thinking ahead), then TCP set about coring those golden puppies. The OXO pineapple corer tore right through each pineapple in seconds.
It was amazing to watch and surprisingly fun to use.

Pineapple Harvest 2013- OXO Pineapple Corer & Slicer

Did I mention it ratchets? You don’t have to turn the bowl or move the pineapple or anything! Just twist the handle on top and it ratchets after each cut until it reaches the bottom. Once done, you simply pull the rings right out of the shell. That’s right – I said rings!

Pineapple Harvest 2013- Rings on the Slicer

It cuts the entire pineapple into perfectly even rings. Shut up! I know!

Pineapple Harvest 2013- Perfectly Sliced Rings

We set aside one tub of rings for Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug, since they both said they’d like to recreate our pineapple upside-down cake from the 2011 harvest, and poured most of the pineapple and juice into the Dutch oven to make my first ever batch of pineapple upside-down marmalade (pineapple, brown sugar & maraschino cherries). With that, there was only one last task to conquer.

Remember that post I mentioned in the first paragraph? The one where I said we probably had a few weeks until harvest? Well, I may have mentioned in that post that I’d also like to make fruity cocktails with this batch of pineapples. And since the OXO corer/slicer did such a nice job of creating the perfect vessel, there was just one last thing to do.

Pineapple Harvest 2013- Pina Colada Fixings

You should know me well enough by now to know that I never turn down a fruity ‘pinkies up’ frou-frou girly cocktail. So here’s to you, and here’s to friends who send friends kitchen gadgets, and here’s to the great pineapple harvest of 2013.

Pineapple Harvest - Pina Colada

Oh, and just in case you’d like to join me:

Pineapple Harvest 2013  - Pina Colada Recipe

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Filed under Family Stuff, Food & Recipes, Things I Love

A Pineapple Update

If you’re a regular reader, you might remember that in 2011 we grew and harvested our first ever homegrown pineapple. It was the best of times.

Our first ever pineapple; summer of 2012

Our first ever pineapple; summer of 2012

We’re such dorks, we called our kids & grandkids and invited them over for the weekend so we could harvest it together. The Complete Package helped our grandson, Jonah Bear, cut the first pineapple. Go Jonah Bear!

Jonah Bear puts some muscle into harvesting the pineapple.

Jonah Bear puts some muscle into harvesting the pineapple.

Then Jonah & I immediately cut it up and baked a birthday cake for our granddaughter, Lilly Bug. What a great adventure that was. And so much fun.

Lilly Bug blows out the candles on her homemade cake.

Lilly Bug blows out the candles on her homemade cake.

Well, this year – we have four baby pineapples. FOUR! It’s so amazing. Of the ten pineapple plants currently growing on our back porch, four have bloomed and produced fruit. We are so excited! Here are a few shots of the new babies.

This snap shows the baby pineapple on its stalk.

This snap shows the baby pineapple on its stalk.

This one shows the crown starting to form on top.

This one shows the crown starting to form on top.

If you look closely at the tips, you'll see the purple flowers almost ready to emerge.

If you look closely at the tips, you’ll see the purple flowers almost ready to emerge.

So hold on to your britches, folks. This summer promises to bring All The Pineapple Goodies. While I’m sure there’s another pineapple upside-down cake in our future (because last year’s cake was beyond delicious), there’s no telling what the others may become. Pineapple preserves? Pineapple sherbet? Pineapple tarts? Feel free to shout out suggestions! Like all other mothers with new babies, I’m sure I’ll post additional photos as they grow.

Ever the proud pineapple momma,
-Jeanne (NanaBread)

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Filed under Family Stuff, Food & Recipes, Miscellaneous Thoughts

Pineapple Update: A Harvest Tale

Once upon a time there was a young, hip grandma who planted the top off a store-bought pineapple and hoped for the best. For 6 1/2 years, this vibrant funny grandmother babied the pineapple plant. She watered it every third day. She set it in the sun and turned the pot so that all corners of the plant would thrive. When it dropped below 40F outside, she brought the pineapple plant indoors and lovingly wrapped it in a blanket. For six long years, she loved the pineapple plant. And then one day, just as all hope had been lost that the plant would ever produce an actual pineapple fruit, the plant finally bloomed.


Now, you should know that the average pineapple plant takes approximately 2 to 3 years to bloom and fruit. But this one was a late bloomer; a very, very late bloomer. On that day, the incredibly patient, horitculturally gifted grandmother cried a little. Not because she was a borderline wackadoo as her beloved husband hinted, but because her hard work and dedication had finally paid off. Her dream of nurturing a home-grown pineapple to fruition had finally been realized. Love triumphed over despair yet again… and it was a beautiful thing.

As the summer passed, the baby pineapple continued to grow as the caring yet brilliant grandmother was surprised and delighted daily. Together, they talked about the weather and sunlight and water and grandkids. Soon, the two of them became inseparable. The grandmother’s friends would see her and say, “Well, hello! And how is our baby pineapple doing?” And the grandmother would smile with pride and answer fondly, “She’s getting bigger and more beautiful every day” which was true, because the baby pineapple had begun to flower with lovely purple blooms the likes of which the scintillating grandmother had never seen.

As time passed, the baby pineapple matured and grew into the adult pineapple the loving grandmother had always known she would become. Slowly, her purple blooms turned into the traditional pentagon shape patterns of an adult pineapple fruit. Yes, the baby pineapple had blossomed into a lovely young woman, and the illustrious grandmother was very proud. Her hopes and dreams were not only realized but exceeded as the pineapple plant began to produce offshoots that in turn, produced six additional new pineapple plants. At this, the vibrant and charming grandmother was pleased beyond her wildest dreams.


But the wise, all-knowing grandmother understood that the future would eventually bring the inevitable. Some day, the pineapple fruit would mature to the point of harvest, and their more than six-year adventure together would end. This made the tender-hearted grandmother sad, but also hopeful. For the grandmother had a grandson, the gentle yet effervescent Jonah Bear, who – like the grandmother who planted the pineapple top and wished for the best – also had a dream. A dream of homemade pineapple upside-down cake.

And so, the day arrives when their more than six year journey ends

And so, with both sadness and excitement in their hearts, the family gathered this weekend to celebrate the second birthday of their beloved granddaughter Lilly Bug and the life and noble sacrifice of their beloved pineapple plant. Together they gave thanks for the blessings of nature as Jonah Bear (with help from the adults) at long last harvested the fruit from the pineapple plant.


And the family’s sadness was transformed into a joyful celebration of life.

A celebration of dreams come true, of a homemade pineapple upside-down cake, and of a little boy who couldn’t quite harness the excitement of it all.

With the creative and yet humble grandmother at his side, the boy known affectionately as Jonah Bear began his adventure in baking a birthday cake for his baby sister. He sprinkled brown sugar and melted butter into the bottom of his prepared pan. He carefully placed the fresh pineapple rings and pieces. He meticulously and lovingly nestled the maraschino cherries into place.

He waited until he thought the grandmother wasn’t looking and tried to snitch all the cherries back out of the pan without success because the patient but ever vigilant grandmother wasn’t born yesterday. Or the day before that.


And when all was said and done, the boy’s pineapple upside-down cake dream at last became a reality. A beautifully fragrant, homemade reality.

And a tiny princess got a birthday cake made with love by her personal hero.


And this made the grandmother happy. Blissfully happy. The End.

To see more about NanaBread’s pineapple plant adventures, simply type pineapple plant in the search box on the right hand side of this blog. It has been a long road from planting to harvest, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to everyone who came along on our pineapple adventure!

PS – the top of the pineapple has already been re-planted so it can grow and produce fruit of its own some day. I smell a sequel!

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Baby Pineapple Update: Day 40

The Grand Dame & her Little Prince - hanging out on Day 40.

Today is Day 40 in our adventure to grow our own pineapple. So far, it’s been glorious. The biggest surprise, besides how fast she’s growing, is the rows of gorgeous purple flowers. I never expected that. In fact, I had no idea it would bloom all around the pineapple. It’s really beautiful. Here’s a close-up of the flowers so you can see them in all their glory:


And now, here’s a photo of the pineapple I got for Mother’s Day. It came from the grocery store. In fact, it is the pineapple we used to create Spike – pineapple plant #2. Notice those golden pentagon shapes on the sides of the pineapple? See those little brown pointed tags sticking out of each pentagon? That’s where the purple blooms emerged and then died back. Who would have guessed?

The store-bought pineapple that birthed Spike.

How cool is that? I had NO idea that those little shaggy brown things on the side of a pineapple used to be gorgeous purple flowers. I’ve learned so much from our pineapple plant. I really have. And because of it, I have a much greater appreciation for every pineapple I see in the grocery store, and for the people who grow them. I wonder if they name their pineapples, too?

Here’s the gratuitous 3-panel shot so you can see how she’s doing. As you can see, the shoots are bulging from the base of the pineapple fruit. I keep expecting them to pop out onto stalks any day now. They’re fascinating. Since we’re hoping to get at least one more pineapple from this plant, we’ll have to cut at least one of the shoots off once they fully emerge. According to my trusted Hawaiian Ag website, I should be able to plant the shoots to create additional plants. Then we’ll have a full-fledged pineapple farm (of 3-4 plants). Okay, it will be more like a pineapple “patch” but I’m okay with that. Overall, things are progressing beautifully. Maybe I’m just a proud pineapple mommy, but I think my baby is turning into one gorgeous little lady. “Who’s a pretty girl?”

To see them up close, click on the photo. To return, just hit your “back” arrow.

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