BURLINGTON – July has officially ended, and the National Weather Service is reporting excellent news for Vermont’s pineapple farmers. According to recently released data, the period from July 1 to July 31 was the most favorable month for growing pineapples in Vermont since tracking began back in 1892. With an average temperature of 76 degrees, and very little cooling down in the evenings, there has never been a better month to grow pineapples in the green mountain state.
Pineapples grow best in temperatures ranging between 65°-95°F, and Vermont’s climate has traditionally been too harsh for the tropical fruit to grow here, but that may be changing. July also set a Vermont record with 21 days above 85 degrees in Burlington, topping the previous record of 20 days last hit in 1999. If trends continue, Vermont will soon be the ideal place for growing pineapples.
“We’re over the moon,” said Burlington farmer Louis Au, who owns and operates Johnny Pineappleseed, an organic pineapple farm that he started at the Intervale in 2014 with his wife, Hannah Lulu Au. “It’s been a few tough years for us pineapple farmers, but people want their food to be locally sourced, and I know several people who would never buy an imported pineapple. They buy from us, or they don’t eat pineapple.”
“Or they travel south to get a fresh one,” Hannah added. “But Lou and I feel that the environmental cost of travelling thousands of miles to get a pineapple just isn’t sustainable. We want to encourage people to stay here in Burlington and eat our homegrown fruit. Otherwise, all that travel is only going to contribute to climate change.”
“Absolutely,” Louis agreed. “We want to make sure that we leave a stable planet for future generations. And the way to do that is to grow food locally. Here’s hoping for an even hotter August!”