It only took two years and about 30 tons of horse manure, but a team of British gardeners has finally managed to generate England’s most expensive piece of fruit: a pineapple that rings in at £10,000.
Pineapples like warm, tropical climates and don’t normally grow in places like the U.K., but the horticulturalists at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall use traditional and insanely expensive techniques developed by 19th century gardeners to grow the tropical fruit in England.
According to The Telegraph, gardeners at Heligan started cultivating pineapples in the 19th century in order to rent the exotic fruit to wealthy Victorians as table decorations.
The pineapples are grown in a four-foot deep trench in a section of the gardens known as the “pineapple pit.” They’re cultivated under 30 tons of horse manure and straw, and are regularly soaked with horse urine. The chemical reactions between the manure, straw, and urine can heat a greenhouse to tropical conditions.
There are eight specimens currently growing at the gardens, and each costs about £1,200 to grow. One, however, is ready for harvest now, and experts at the garden say it could be worth up to £10,000.
"If it was sold in a charity auction or the open market it could fetch up to £10,000 because of how unusual it is,” said Lost Gardens spokesperson James Stephens. But the world’s wealthy collectors of unusual fruit will go wanting this year, as the prize pineapple will be cut up and eaten by the garden staff.
“It is just staff who get to taste the fruits as a thank you for their hard work,” Stephens said. “It can take up to two years to grow each pineapple so it's only fair.”
The rest of us will just have to pick up our pineapples at the grocery store. Check out some of our best pineapple recipes for some ideas with what to do with them.