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Northern Ireland woman grows a pineapple on her kitchen table

By Claire Williamson

Published 26/09/2015

Yvonne Lee with the pineapple
Yvonne Lee with the pineapple
Yvonne Lee's pineapple

Northern Ireland has definitely never been thought of as having a tropical climate.

But that hasn't stopped one Newtownards woman from growing a pineapple - on her kitchen table.

Yvonne Lee embarked on the quest following her daughter Tabatha's wedding, where the newlyweds gave their mums pineapples as a gift.

After eating it she planted the top in soil as a keepsake from the wedding - and four years later she has managed the almost unthinkable and grown the exotic fruit in Co Down.

Yvonne said she didn't treat the pineapple any differently to her other plants, which she waters with cold tea. She checked it regularly but it wasn't until April this year that she noticed the fruit was beginning to grow.

Yvonne said: "I kept it on the kitchen table and just watered it as I did the others. It kept growing, so it occupied the whole of the table and we had to move it. It sat in the bath when we needed the table.

"Every so often I would climb on to the kitchen table and look down the middle of it.

"It was on one of those searches I saw something and I nearly died. Then it just grew and grew and has become a pineapple."

She took to the internet for advice and an Australian website emailed back saying it could not believe a pineapple was growing in Northern Ireland.

Yvonne said she can hardly fathom that, after four years of tirelessly tending to the plant - sometimes prompting grumbles from her family - her work has, er, finally borne fruit.

She said: "I think they (her family) are glad after all these years that I've finally got something out of it, because they kept saying: 'What are you watering that for? Nothing will ever come of it, and the leaves are so big when you walk out the back door you get poked with them'.

"But I can smile smugly at them now."

While it isn't quite ready to eat yet, when it is Yvonne plans to then plant the top of it to see if she can produce another one.

She added: "It's been very exciting. I never thought it would grow. And it's produced about four offshoots, so I'm in the process of planting them. Who knows, I could have a forest of pineapples!"

She added: "I water my plants with cold tea - and the joke in the family now is when we eat the pineapple will it taste like cold tea."

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