(Lexington, SC) He’s planted a variety of crops, and he even built a greenhouse to keep plants growing through the winter months, but 17 years ago, Jim Tinsley decided to try something unusual in South Carolina: pineapple.
"We were just trying to see if we could do it. It was just like one of those things on a lark where you all of the sudden decide you're going to try something and then you're kind of shocked when it does work,” said Tinsley.
Tinsley was at the grocery store with his son buying pineapple when they made the decision. Since then, he’s grown about a dozen.
"It is kind of unique the way they grow because when they grow up through the center , what you're basically going to suddenly see is it's going to look like a small pinecone that's going to come up in the bottom,” said Tinsley. "And then as it starts to develop, it actually develops purple flowers.”
Tinsley said they take about two or three years to grow full size. He says they get so heavy, he has to use a dolly to move them.
“They’re not easy, but they are worth it,” he said. "They taste a lot better if they're home grown. They're juicier, they have a lot better flavor. And you can allow them to completely mature so they are better than what you get at the grocery store."
He said being recruited for Gandy’s Garden Army is one of his proudest gardening moments, but he has no plans to turn the pineapple into profit.
“I don't think I want to try to make a living off of it. Especially in South Carolina,” he chuckled.