We went to the Dole Plantation a while ago. It was a lot of fun!
Did anyone know that pineapples grow on the ground on plants that look like aloe? I had no idea. I always pictured big pineapple trees. But no, they grow on the ground in vast scrubby looking fields. Here are a few growing at the entrance to the plantations.
Did you know that some pineapples are pink?? And various other shades ranging from yellow to red...
There are 4 sections to the plantation tour. The first and most fun was the train ride through the fields on the Pineapple Express. They give a great history of Mr. Dole and the pineapple industry in Hawaii, as well as lots of interesting fruit facts! We learned that to plant a pineapple, you cut off the top of a ripe one and stick it in the ground. It takes about 18-24 months to grow another. You pick the pineapple when it is ripe, and it does not ripen further, so eat it quickly!
Then, there are some beautiful gardens to walk through. There are plants from all over the Hawaiian islands here.
Coffee (I almost stole a tree so I could grown my own at home):
The world's largest maze is located on the grounds of the Dole Plantation.
It is made entirely of hibiscus plants, which produce gorgeous flowers. Unfortunately, they keep it cut way back so you can actually walk through the maze, so we saw very few flowers. But we saw some!
They give you a card a the entrance, and as you work through the maze, you color in stencils at hidden stations to prove that you made it all the way around the maze. I have to admit, we gave up pretty quickly... but it was fun to try!
And the last thing you do at the Dole Plantation is EAT. They have a good variety of food, all of which includes pineapple. And they make the "world famous Dole Whip". I'd never heard of a Dole Whip, but oh, they are good! I have a recipe to try at home soon, and I'm hoping it's at least half as good. Every time I see this picture, I drool:
For more field trip fun, visit Live the Adventure!