Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Today we learned that MAUI LAND & PINEAPPLE will not be planting or growing anymore pineapple here in Maui starting immediately. This is news that literally made me sick to my stomach. I cannot imagine our drive into town or up Baldwin Avenue and not seeing the pineapple fields as they change from silvery green, to purpley green, to golden green and smell the sweet fragrance as the warms sun releases that signature aroma. This surely means the land will be sold off and developed. I still can't grasp it. This of course means we will be getting pineapple shipped in from South America and will of course cost much more than it does now.

The pineapple fields along the Hana Highway in Ha'iku. When this field is full and ripe, the aroma is amazing and you literally breathe in as deep as you can so as not to miss one second of the experience.

And just last week we learned that GAY & ROBINSON is ending sugar cane production on Kauai. The closure leaves Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. on Maui as the only sugar producer in the state. And if we loose that… it will be a sad day here.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. here on Maui.
No, it's not pretty, but it is full of old world charm.

So we better get to town and stock up, cut those tops off and get them in the ground if we want to keep fresh Hawaiian pineapples on the menu here at CFC. It takes at least 18 months to get a pineapple.. slower when not pumped full of fertilizers. Here are a few of our "award winners" at different stages.


Deb said...

i have big, big tears in my eyes. how can this be? i was supported all my life by MLP . .. my mom gave her best years to them. never was our house without their pineapples.

have alllll their employees been laid off already? that's a LOT of people.

maybe another company will take over, even if it's just a small parcel? local farmers probably couldn't afford to purchase some of this land i imagine?? so sad.

why didn't i eat more pineapples when i was there??

excuse me while i go sit with my coffee and memories for a bit. . .


Sassy said...

I thought that there were multiple companies growing pineapple on Maui so this came as an even bigger shock. Impossible to imagine Maui without the sugar cane and the pineapple fields. So sorry to hear about it.

Conn said...

deb: i am still not able to comprehend it. according to the article, 300 employees will laid off right away, about 133 will be placed in position with vendors, not sure what that means. and they have about 624 workers as of now. really really sad.

sassy: i am not sure if thee are other growers, but i am for certain going to look into it. i would imagine it would be too expensive for local farmers to step in.

it is such a part of maui, of hawaii. it's part of the allure of coming here. i'm glad i got to at least experience it for a short time at least.

leigh said...

the loss of 200+ jobs in this economy plus all that fertile ag land is so disheartening . . . especially when you consider the whole locavore movement is starting to gain momentum in the islands.

all the dairies on oahu closed down a few years back, but a family run farm called naked cow dairy started up earlier this year and is trying to bring local milk back to the market one glass bottle at a time.

hopefully, the loss of ML&P will inspire a small producer to find a way to bring back island grown pineapple.

James said...

I'm SO sorry to hear that. Very sad indeed.

Rent the movie Food Inc, if you haven't already.

Paul Jones (an "old" friend on Conn's) said...

Like Conn, when I traveled there, I would park my car next to the field, turn on Keali'i Richel and drink in the Hawaiian beauty with my eyes, ears and nose. I am so saddened to hear that there will be more development. You are lucky to have "one last see and smell". Please bottle some for me.....

suzy said...

i had no idea how pineapples grow. And how long they take!
Thank you for your pictures.
It's nerve wracking to hear about your changing landscape.
You might like to know that there's
a garden on a roof in Brooklyn now that is able to supply a local restaurant. The people developed a new soil for the rooftop and the garden is doing very well. It even keeps the building cool in the summer and cuts down on their electricity bills. I heart GARDENERS

John said...

leigh-thanks for the info in naked cow. we are holding out hope that some form of ag will take it's place.
suzy-how cool, a rooftop garden for a restaurant. gotta check it out next time i'm in town.