Are you interested in growing pineapple plants in your garden?
It’s easy to grow pineapples in a corner of your garden or even in a pot. They fill a scruffy corner rather well and are quite ornamental – and then you can anticipate the prospect of enjoying the fruit.
Mind you, it might take a couple of years and they do need a warm climate! Perhaps they would do well in a very protected and sunny corner or in a greenhouse if you live in a cool part of the globe.
In addition to its attractive appearance, the health benefits of pineapple are many, but really, who cares when they taste so good?
Luscious and juicy, the golden flesh of pineapples is delicious when chilled, juiced, dried or cooked in sweet or savoury dishes.
I guess that the added bonus of being good for us is welcome and means that we can enjoy them with a clear conscience.
Pineapples’ benefits seem to be largely due to the presence of bromelain (a substance which, it appears, assists with digestion and with inflammation) combined with many vitamins and minerals. However, much of its bromelain is in the stem which is inedible in many types of pineapple (choose the type “Rough” if you are wanting to eat the core).
Rich in the anti-oxidant, Vitamin C, it follows that pineapples help to build immunity to various diseases thus preventing or treating ailments such as the common cold.
Because they contain manganese, thiamin and calcium, pineapples, when eaten, can help to strengthen bones and teeth as well as improve eyesight.
The pineapple, Ananas comosus, one of the few edible species of the bromeliad family, originated in South America. Its English name derived from the fruit’s strong resemblance to the form of pine cones.
The Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus, is supposed to have ‘discovered’ the pineapple and brought it back to Europe as did Ferdinand Magellan and later James Cook, whom, it seems, may have introduced the fruit to Hawaii, where it flourished.
A substantial industry growing pineapple plants developed in Hawaii, a further development being the beginnings of the pineapple canning industry.
Pineapple derived products can be used for many other things apart from consumption; for example the fibre (pina) from its skin and leaves is used in some countries for fabric and paper making for furnishings.
Have you ever marveled at the wonderful design and patterning on pineapples’ outer skin? Arranged in helices (a smooth spiral, resembling a coil) of eight segments in one direction and thirteen in the other, the mathematical fibbonachi or golden spiral principle, common in Nature, is evident.
Pineapple plants have short, stocky stems on which up to 200 flowers can grow. Remarkably, when these flowers develop into fruits they join together to make one delicious pineapple fruit with a central core and hard, prickly leaves on its crown.
If you are interested in growing pineapple plants you can just cut off the prickly top of a bought pineapple and plant it shallowly. After a year or so you will notice small pineapple plants beginning to grow from the top of the leaves and from around the sides. These can be harvested and re-planted to become a whole plant, thus starting the growing cycle all over again.
In most countries pesticides and fungicides are used freely in the commercial growing of pineapples, often leading to the ill health of workers and their families because of contaminated water supplies.
Pineapple products sold by Tropical Superfoods have been grown without these chemicals on organic certified Queensland plantations or on farms which use minimal amounts of chemical agents.
But you're going to have fun growing pineapples yourself, aren't you?