Anna Erickson of Mabel proudly stands next to the first fruit of the pineapple plant she and her mother, Darcy, planted in 2010.
Anna Erickson of Mabel proudly stands next to the first fruit of the pineapple plant she and her mother, Darcy, planted in 2010.
Gardening has always been a hobby for Darcy Erickson and her seventh grade daughter, Anna. However, it has been only the past few months that their hobby has attracted the attention of most patrons visiting the Mabel post office where Darcy serves as postmaster.

The tropical fruit plant has been growing safely inside the Mabel post office just feet away from the cold Minnesota winter. On Dec. 2, the plant yielded its first fruit.

The story begins about just over three years ago in August of 2010, Darcy explained, when she purchased a pineapple from the now closed Mabel grocery store and Anna used the seeds to grow their own pineapple plant.

"We bought the pineapple and it had such a pretty top on it. I said to her (Anna) 'Oh, you should plant this....' So we cut it off, put it in a dish of water for a few days and then in a pot of soil."

Darcy explained the tropical plant continued to grow, and eventually she decided to take it to work at the post office.

"We really did not have a good place for it at home anymore, so we brought it up to the post office because we figured it would be a good window for it. Apparently it really likes it here," Darcy said.

Late this past summer the plant started to bud and showed signs of growing its first fruit. The yielding of the first actual pineapple grown from the plant on Dec. 2 was a big day for the Ericksons.

"It took it three years before it got the actual pineapple on it.... I never really thought it would fruit," Darcy said.

While gardening has long been a hobby of both mother and daughter, this was the first time they attempted growing a tropical fruit in the cold Minnesota climate.

While they enjoyed the sweet and fresh taste of the first fruit of the pineapple plant - the family is looking forward to enjoying home grown pineapple in future years to come.

"The one (fruit) that we got out of there, we're going to cut the top off and plant that," Anna said.

Darcy also explained the current plant has two new "shoots" that have come up in the past few months as well. "I guess we will both get pineapples off of them, according to what we've read off the internet."

"Lots of people have made comments on it and think it's really cool," Anna said.

Since the actual fruit sprouted, the plant has been an additional attraction for the post office. "A lot of people stop in just to see how the pineapple is doing...everyone was real good to just keep watching it. It was kind of a neat thing for everyone," Darcy added.

Darcy brings in a fair share of her flowers to the post office each year for the winter. As for the pineapple plant, she said the post office window will be its home for the foreseeable future.

"People comment (that) it is so nice to come in and see all the flowers when it is cold outside," Darcy concluded. "We both just really enjoy all the comments and watching it grow."