Hawaii used to be known for its pineapple plantations. These days they are now mostly gone – replaced by cheaper imports from other places. However, there are still fields to be found on Maui and it seems more fields have been planted recently. Drive upcountry to Hailemaile and if you look carefully, you will see some pineapple fields. Plants are close together, creating a dense plant field. Note, please do not trespass on these fields, even if just to take pictures.
From my experience growing pineapples from tops in my flower bed, it takes roughly 1 1/2 years to grow one fruit per plant – if you’re lucky.
My favorite growing stage is when they bloom. Each of those little notches on the hard skin represents where a tiny purple flower bloomed. Soooo beautiful.
Costco stopped selling Maui Gold pineapples this past year – replaced by fruit that is supposedly grown on Oahu (though I’m suspicious). However, there are a few local businesses that still grow and use Maui pineapples.
The Hailemaile Distilling Company produces Pau Vodka. Check them out in Hailemaile, go for a tour and see their tasting room. They also offer tours of their fields.
The Maui Winery also uses local fruit for their three pineapple wines ~ Splash, Maui Blanc and Hula. These are available at your Maui grocery stores or for sampling at the Maui Winery at the Ulupalakua Ranch.
If on Maui, look to buy a Maui Gold pineapple. Farmer’s markets should still have them available, even if Costco does not. They are unbelievably sweet and juicy.