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  • Mar15

    Fri.-A Pineapple Plantation & Good Byes

    March 15 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    So, our time has come to an end but we are so happy that we were all able to spend a few days together on this beautiful island out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. We are all looking forward to our next family adventure ... somewhere.

    Anyways, I have been like a broken record talking about visiting a pineapple farm that is close to where we are staying. We had time in the morning to head to the farm and check out how pineapples are grown.

    Once oranges were the main crop in the Azores – helping to ward off scurvy and as gifts in northern countries. In the 19th century, winter oranges were so popular in London, they were called St. Michaels. But things changed when a blight killed many of the trees. The need for a substitute to the orange led to a boom in growing pineapples in the Azores. I believe that roots were brought from Brazil. While there was no tropical sun, the new crop needed a warm soil rich in organic matter – and that led to pineapple greenhouses – which are unique to the Azores.

    We saw about 20 greenhouses at the Arruda Plantation but apparently there are about 6,000 greenhouses on the island. It takes 2 years to grow a pineapple from flower to fruit, and lots of smoke to fertilize the plant as it grows. Each plant only produces one fruit.

    And, the Ananaz, or Azorean pineapple, is unique -being small and with an intense flavor. In the coffee shop, we have seen pineapple cakes, sugared pineapple, pineapple liqueur, pineapple jams and pineapple used as a garnish on roasted meats.

    The Best Experiences of the Day

    Nathan - hitting his mommy on the head with his metal trolley car ‘choo choo’ on the plane

    Audrey - looking at the pineapple jewellery

    Cal - seeing the tiny baby pineapples in the greenhouses

    Matt - eating natas and drinking an expresso

    Amy - enjoying sitting in the sunshine on the back deck

    Tim - eating the small Azores pineapple

    Caitlin - looking at the beaded pineapple necklaces in the gift shop and eating natas

    Connie - seeing the look on Audrey’s face when she got real hot chocolate with whipping cream at the pastry shop!

    Chris - getting a gift of pineapple piripiri and trying to do the Math on how many pineapple plants were in each greenhouse!
    (The answer is around 250 plants per greenhouse.)
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