How many ways can you photograph a pineapple? Let's find out.
The roots of Oahu's pineapple plantation grow deep into November, 1899, When James Drummond Dole moved to Hawai'i with his eye set on becoming the Pineapple King, and by the end of his life, his fruit and his company made him arguably the most powerful man on the islands. The Dole Plantation stands to honor his legacy, though it wasn't always the sprawling tourist attraction it is now. It started life in 1950 as a humble fruit stand smack dab in the middle of the original pineapple field. In 1989, the stand was transformed to resemble a plantation style homestead, a fabricated relic of the once great Pineapple Empire.
How would you think a pineapple grows? I, perhaps naively, thought that maybe they grew on a vine, or that you dug them up out of the ground like a carrot, or maybe I didn't think about how they grew at all (though I've heard enough stories about pineapple trees to know that they definitely do not grow on trees).
I don't know what I thought I was going to see when I stepped into the presentational garden at the plantation, but I certainly wasn't expecting what I saw. Pineapples grow on stalks. Big fat fruits growing close to the ground, peeking out from a nest of long leaves. Little baby pineapples perched precariously on their stalks, bobbing softly in the breeze. Bright pink buds kissing the sweetened air, saying "Someday I, too, will be delicious." It's quite a site.
There's a walkable garden stretching along the length of the (in)famous Pineapple Maze, featuring nearly every type of pineapple grown in the world, if not grown on the plantation. The working fields reach much, much further. The tour train chugs its way through the grounds. We've never ridden it. Maybe next time.
When you go, you absolutely must have the Dole Whip. I'll admit I was dubious about the prospect of pineapple ice cream, but as it happens, it's the tastiest pineapple thing I've ever eaten. Icy and refreshing, it's just what you need to cool down after walking through the pineapple maze, and it's not so creamy as to make you feel tired and heavy.
Pineapple. Good stuff.