by Andru McCracken

The famous fruit is still on display at the Cranberry Lounge, looking lovely and lucious and chemical free. /LAURA KEIL

It struck me as an odd fake plant to have in a lounge: an almost full grown pineapple on a wide green base looked back at me happily from the corner of the Cranberry Lounge. Closer inspection revealed it was real and in fact the said pineapple plant is a famous one.

Former Rocky Mountain Goat Newspaper Reporter Thomas Rohner wrote about the ‘surprising fruit’ in June 2014.

According to Rohner’s story it was the work of hobbyist gardener Wayne Schnell.

Schnell grew the plant from its top and knew that the lounge area would be a great place for it to grow with a lot of sun.

“I’m glad I didn’t throw it away,” said Schnell.

Schnell said growing the fruit is pretty easy.

He said after cutting the top off, you let it dry for a day and then set it in soil.

But don’t expect instant results: The plant will take four to six months to root.

It’s not instant, but it is easy.

“Just ignore it and it grows,” he said.

In his 2014 article, Rohner mentioned how local pineapple growing could be a good thing, given the problems that plague the industry:

He noted a 2010 study by Consumer International that found Canada to be the 8th largest consumer of pineapples in the world, and that most pineapples, by far, come from developing countries, notably Costa Rica, where local growing conditions are plagued by labour exploitation, poor governance and disproportionate income distribution. Large multinational traders and retailers, for example, reap 41% of the final value of pineapple exporting, while the workers receive only 4%, the study found.

A 2016 article from the UK based Guardian newspaper indicates those problems continue.

“…this is an industry built on environmental degradation and poverty wages. Moreover, price cuts appear to have led to an immediate, sometimes brutal deterioration in conditions that were already poor.”

Perhaps we should follow Schnell’s example.

So save that pineapple top, plant and wait!