Did you know at one time Florida produced more pineapples than Hawaii?
During tours people have asked if perhaps the county got it's name somehow from the word pineapple...its not, but pineapples were at one time thought to be the next 'big crop' in Florida.
First grown in the United States on Plantation Key, with the introduction of railways pineapple plantations were eventually found as far north as Volusia County (Daytona Beach) in the late 1800's and into the early 1900's. The east and west coasts of South Florida each had their own "Pineapple Belt" known for growing the crop.
Bordered by the temparate waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, St Pete provided a sub-tropical climate to grow the fruit. Edwin Tomlinson had a small pineapple plantation close to his home in the area near where the downtown Publix and Hilton Hotel currently stand.
Pineapples were grown and shipped by rail and the industry looked to be a promising crop, in 1908 Florida produced over 1 million crates of fruit.
A combination of factors led to the gradual decline of growing pineapples for profit.
Pineapples can be easily grown here today in your yard or even in a pot. When you buy a fresh pineapple, simply slice the green top off of the fruit, allow it to dry for 2-3 days then plant in the soil. They don't have much of a root system so you need only bury the base of the top in an inch or so of dirt. Keep it watered for the first 2 weeks or so. It may take 1-2 years to bear fruit (especially if you only have a single plant growing). Contrary to belief, the plant does not die after picking the fruit, unless you don't water it. Pineapples typically fruit in Pinellas in Spring and early Summer.
Rev B has nearly been published multiple times and has received letters of rejection from Highlights, Jet Magazine, Dear Abby and The New Yorker. While accepting full responsibility for all grammatical errors he makes no claims of being an author. Please enjoy the entries found here and use the search function if you're looking for something more specific.