"" Writer's Wanderings: Key Largo Pineapples?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Key Largo Pineapples?

Right by the elevator in the condo building where we stay in the winter is a planter that is on the outer wall. On one end is a bougainvillea. One the other end is a pineapple plant. I don't know who lays claim to it but it is fascinating to watch it grow and mature into a pineapple fruit. This year we were able to see that it actually blooms with little bluish flowers before forming the fruit.

I was surprised to learn that back in the late 1800s, Key Largo was known for pineapple production. There were acres and acres of pineapples on fields that were cleared and burned. The pineapple slips for planting came from Cuba originally.

Unfortunately it was difficult to get them to market in the northern states before they would spoil. The pineapples had to be shipped by schooners and the wind and weather was not always cooperative. About 25% of the fruit would spoil before getting there.

Life was made a little easier when the railroad extended to Miami and pineapples could make a shorter schooner journey and a faster trip to their markets by rail.

In 1906 a devastating hurricane hit the keys and destroyed much of the pineapple fields. It was followed by a blight which did in the pineapple farming business.

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