A few weeks back, Mario and Easton from our Fruit Team travelled over to sunny Costa Rica in search of the best tasting bananas, oranges and pineapples to crush into our drinks.
First stop: bananas. Here they are growing upwards on the trees, casually defying gravity.
While a lot of plants are happy to sit about in the soil twiddling their thumbs all year, bananas are actually walking plants. In one banana plant there are three generations; the grandmother, who produces the first bunch of tasty bananas, the mother who gives the next bunch and several sons who grow at the bottom, next to the mother. The farmer will choose the son in the best location and the family will rotate every year. They end up walking about forty centimetres, which isn’t quite a marathon winning pace but is still pretty good for a plant.
Mario and Easton didn’t mess about when it came to their own walking either. One of the farms they visited was the size of 3000 football pitches, and contained 412,000 orange trees (we don’t think they managed to see them all).
And, if you thought that was impressive, another farm they stopped at was growing 46,800,000 pineapples at various stages of maturity. That's a lot of pineapples.
If you fancy getting your own pineapple population going, you can plant one in the garden by cutting off the crown, removing some of the lower leaves and popping it in the ground. The only downside is you’ll need warm and sunny conditions (good luck), and patience as they take about twelve months to grow.
So, unless you’ve got a spare pineapple sauna lying about and a bit of time to kill before next summer, it’s probably best to leave the growing to us.