Who would have guessed in 1882 when William Purvis brought the first Macadamia nut tree to Hawaii from Queensland, Australia that the Aloha State would become the world’s largest grower of macadamias?
We had the opportunity to visit Purdy’s macadamia nut farm while visiting Moloka’i. Trudy, the owner and operator, was kind enough to give us an energized tour of the operation. He’s been running the farm since 1980 when he acquired it through the Hawaiian Home Lands Act.
Trudy has about 200 trees, in various stages of growth, since it takes about seven years for the fruit to mature. The fruits must ripen and fall from the tree to be harvested by hand from the ground. They can be harvested year round, with the lowest production being in July. Once the nuts are gathered from the ground they still have a long way to go.
The nuts are gathered into a sort of trough for processing.
The nuts are shelled, which can be done by gently striking them with a hammer on a flat stone surface.
A guest learns how to shell macadamia nuts with a hammer.
After shelling, the nuts are rinsed and dried. Then, they are seasoned (if you like) and placed on a baking sheet to roast in the oven, turning them periodically.
Enjoying them in this manner leaves behind all the additives and preservatives that we find with store-bought macadamia nuts. They are actually healthy this way! (And of course, delicious!)
The macadamia nut farm is part of our farm day on Moloka’i. We also visit a Plumeria farm – and you can read about that experience in Tuesday’s blog!