Island of Oahu

Dole and the Pineapple Kingdom
Tuesday, October 10th, 2000
A pineapple field flys by our tour bus.

Although diminished in economic importance to the Hawaiian economy, there is still a lot of pineapple fields in Hawaii. In the nineteenth and early twentith centuries workers were imported primarily from China, Japan, and Portugal to work in the sugar cane and pineapple fields. These workers were paid almost nothing for their long hours tending the fields. In the planters defense, it should be mentioned that the imported workers came because they could not find employment in their native lands, and they were making more than they would have at home.

Pineapple and sugar cane are labor intensive crops. So, when laws were passed requiring better wages, sugar cane was no longer profitable, and pineapple less than previously. There are only a few sugar cane fields left on all the islands. They are primarily on Maui. Pineapple fields still dominate much of central Oahu. And the descendants of the people who worked the fields have contributed to the rich cultural texture of the islands.

The Dole Store In Central Oahu

Oahu's warm and sunny tropical climate produces some of the most luscious fruits in the world. Hawaiian name for pineapple is hala kahiki meaning foreign fruit. Pineapple, avocado, and papaya, were imported from Central and South America. Pineapple is probably the most famous and is grown commercially in central Oahu as well as on other Hawaiian Islands. The Dole Cannery is a large building on the Honolulu skyline.

There's the old saw that says, "Money doesn't grow on trees."
But nobody said that orchids can't grow on plam trees!

It's been said that there's nothing better than field ripened, fresh pineapple. You can buy them in this store and have them shipped home if you wish. A price check will return a cost of about $30 for a case of two of the juicy fruits, and an additional cost of about $20 for shipping. We settled for a pair of pineapple ice cream cones.

Page last updated November 18, 2000.