A woman from Gosport has grown a pineapple.
Ten years ago, Tracey Aldrdige, 56, from Gosport near Portsmouth planted a pineapple seed, now she's pleased to report it has finally fruited.
Gardening experts are sending their congratulations to Tracey, who hopes this is the start of a decade long dream to start a 'remarkable pineapple farm'.
Pineapples usually grow in tropical climates like South America and the Caribbean, that's why Tracey was so surprised when one sprouted in the conservatory of her Hampshire home.
She's even hoping it could bring on an annual harvest.
Speaking to The News, the 56-year-old said:
It all started when I had my friend from Florida come over – we were having fruit salad and I was chopping some pineapple.
She told me to keep the top because another pineapple would grow out of it.
I’ll be honest, I was a little sceptical, but I popped it into the conservatory anyway.
After that, she forgot about her pineapple, and left it in the conservatory. It turned into two plants, and one of them flowered.
She says she ignores her plants most of the time showing them 'tough love' but last summer she was amazed and 'stopped in her tracks' to see a tiny pineapple grow.
I suppose having a conservatory does help it to grow, but nonetheless it does seem quite bizarre, because of where pineapples are usually grown.
The News, a local paper in Portsmouth who broke the story, reported that their gardening expert, Brian Kidd, said
You can get pineapples to grow if you are lucky enough to be able to get one with green growth on the top, that the retailer hasn’t removed.
You can get them to grow quite well during the summer months, but the big problem is in the winter, because pineapples are very tender and if the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant can suffer.
Tracey ignored her pineapples in winter months, as she has a holiday home in the French Alps. Brian added that due to this Tracey had inadvertently presented a masterclass in British pineapple growing.
She has done everything correctly and deserves a lot of credit for that. I would personally like to send Tracey my congratulations. If she can get growth again next year then she could end up with another baby pineapple – if she does that, it will be quite the achievement.
But for Tracey, one more pineapple isn't enough.
Well the first thing to do is, of course, eat it.
From there I don’t quite know what will happen.
I could end up with a pineapple farm at this rate – that would be quite remarkable!
It comes after the news in 2015 that a Cornish grandmother managed to grow a pineapple on her window sill in only six years, and an 84-year old retired engineer from Huddersfield spent 8-years growing the tropical fruit.