Pineapple Nutrition

January 19, 2012 | 8:01 am

As the mom of three young boys, I travel more than any mom wants to you. My typical destination list goes something like this: Chicago, St. Louis, Indy, San Diego, Orlando – all wonderful cities, but nothing like my current trip. This week, I have found myself on the Island of Oahu in Hawaii…and yes, this was for work!  The American Farm Bureau Foundation held its annual meeting in Honolulu, so I, like many other farmers, tacked on a few vacation days in the tropical paradise.

Prior to the meeting starting, my husband and I visited the Dole Pineapple Plantation. In full disclosure, I am a huge pineapple fan!  In fact, I even own one of those special pineapple cutters from Pampered Chef, because I buy whole pineapples weekly at the grocery store.  I was curious to see how pineapples grow, so while others were on Waikiki Beach, I was touring the pineapple fields, and I had a blast!

As it turns out, pineapples are grown similarly to others fruits and vegetables: on raised plastic beds with drip tape for irrigation and nutrients.  The farm gives small train tours to visitors out to the field and does a nice job explaining its growing practices.  In addition to their roots, they take nutrients through their leaves.  They require liquid nitrogen and iron, often sprayed directly onto their leaves.

Armed with this information, I contemplated could I possibly add pineapples to the crops I grow on my Virginia farm…and the answer it turns out is absolutely not! Oh well, it was nice to dream about the possibility of fresh and juicy pineapples available at moment’s notice.

Beyond pineapples, Hawaii has some beautiful and unique flora, and yes, they have some wonderful beaches too! Now to tackle that plane ride home…