At 2:15 PM we took our tour bus the short distance to the Collin Street Bakery-owned pineapple plantation,
|Collin Street Bakery|
Some women were folding in the spiky leaves on whole pineapples, and we were to learn why later.
|Michael & Danny|
Funny how they all have American names!
Michael stressed the progressiveness of this company, saying that pregnant women are taken out of the fields and allowed to do lighter work with the ornamental pineapple plants.
|Baby ornamental plants|
|Left to nature|
|Michael holding a pineapple crown|
The plastic makes the use of insecticides and herbicides for weeds unnecessary. Pineapples cannot be exported if weed seeds are found in the crowns. Each crown may produce 2-3 pineapples before the size and quality deteriorate.
Once the plants have served their usefulness, they are pulled
|Pulling out old plants|
|Removing the plastic|
|Covered in plastic|
At harvest time, a specialist goes to measure the sugar content of a sampling of pineapples. When the sugar content is appropriate, then the hand-picking begins. Some fields are arranged with roads between them in intervals to allow a machine to cut the tops of the pineapples at a certain height. Any pineapple with a crown below this level is eligible to be picked. Workers are looking for pineapples with straight crowns of a certain height. Because they are picking by hand, they can leave those pineapples that aren't quite ready, and pick them at a later time. One field could be picked over up to 10 times.Our tractor drove over large mud puddles.
|Mud puddle coming up|
|Mud puddle seen through floor of wagon|
|Danny pulls up a plant|
|Whole pineapple plant|
Michael kept calling the body of the pineapple the "physical".The prime pineapple grows on the main stem, slips grow from the fruit or stem and are usually removed, and suckers grow from the leaf joint or ground level and may be allowed to grow the second or third pineapple.
|Pineapple Plants (Ananas comosus)|
|Machete-cutting the pineapple|
|Bonnie enjoys a juicy core|
|Gina, Susan & Jimmy|
Wow, very sweet and very juicy!
Some intercrop farming was pointed out with a guava tree here
|Guava Tree (Psidium sp.)|
|Balsa Trees (Ochroma pyramidale)|
|Poas Volcano is in this direction|
|Donning a hairnet|
|Containers at packing plant, blue for regular and green for organic|
|Michael at sorting station|
|Side conveyor belt|
|"Please do not eat the pineapples!"|
|More conveyor belts|
|Michael showing us a box|
|Hairnetted tour group!|
|Pineapples will not ripen further after being picked|
|Note the folded leaves|
|Kent shows the top of his pineapple drink|
Next: 13. Cooking Class.