This is sized just perfectly, got lucky. See how there is a barely perceptible line running vertically down the green husk. This will eventually be the 'weak point as the nut inside forces the husk to split open as the growth of the nut literally gets too big for its britches. Eventually, the join point will dry out and the nut will fall to the ground.
Barely in the earliest stages of development, the immature buds are seen forming along the branch. This photo shows a few flowers that have not yet formed into buds.
Because of this gradual development, these nuts are not harvested all at once, there are periodic pickings throughout the year. The first harvest is usually the largest.
I left these pictures as oversized so that you could really see how they grow in clusters on the tree. As with all fruit and nut bearing trees, they flower first, I am not presenting this slide show in a frame by frame manner because of the random way in which I have them stored. Not to worry, you'll get the picture.
Assume you decided to get away from the crowd, had a car available, you really do need one to get around on this Island, we will start with the notion that you found a bed and breakfast in or nearby Kealakekua.
The BnB is popular and reasonable, far below the posh hotels located on the beach. The beaches which front some of the more expensive hotels are pretty nice, others in the general area are not great. Kealakekua Bay itself is an excellent area for snorkelling and is not a busy place. For general swimming, Not! But take note that the average bnb will provide you with all the gear you need. Hotels just will not do that.
As long as you are going to be here, you might consider a bnb right on a coffee farm, alternatively on a macadamia nut growers property. Both exist. There are also many absentee owner condos available for less money than at Kailua/Kona. There will be many available for less than $100.00 per day for a couple, even half that if you are staying for 3 or more days. That will include a sumptuous breakfast.
The Big Island is not about laying on the beach. This is a place for exploring volcanoes, coffee plantations, macadamia nuts, the way they grow and are processed, you can even get up to the snow at the higher elevations.
I will give you a series on macadamia nuts here and may then add a travelogue, or introduce coffee plantations in one of the other nearby towns just to balance things out.
The picture above shows a large group of nuts from which the husks have already been removed. The serious work in shelling them is all done by machine now. It used to be done by hand, one by one and took great skill.
As children, we knew where and when to go out and gather these nuts. How did we open them? We found just the right sized hole on the curbings of the streets where we lived, it had to be just deep enough to hold the nut in place.
A well placed nut in the right sized recess will come apart fairly well when given a sharp blow with a hammer. There are commercially made manual machines for around $80.00.
ELLISON S. ONIZUKA
Mission Specialist/Challenger STS, 51-L
Ellison Onizuka was selected as an astronaut candidate in January 1978, along with fellow Challenger crew members Ron McNair, Dick Scobee and Judy Resnik. After completing a one-year training and evaluation period he was qualified for future shuttle flights as a mission specialist. His first mission, 51-C, was the January 1985 flight of Discovery, the first shuttle mission flown exclusively for the Department of Defense.
A 38-year old Air Force lieutenant colonel, his duties included tracking instruments during launch and re-entry, and deploying a Department of Defense satellite using the shuttle's 50-foot remote arm. Onizuka was commissioned as a second lieutenant in January 1970 after he received his bachelor and master of science degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado as a member of the ROTC program. He was then assigned as an aerospace flight test engineer with the Sacramento Air Logistics Center at McClellan Air Force Base in California. After attending the USAF Test Pilot school, Onizuka was transferred to the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He was awarded the Air Force
Commendation Medal, Air Force Meritorious Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. El Onizuka was born June 24, 1946, in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii.
During his career he logged more than 1,700 hours flight time, including 74 hours in space. He is survived by his wife, the former Lorna Leiko Yoshida, and their two children, Janelle Mitsue and Darian Lei Shizue.
For them, and the families of all of those who lost their lives, it was a flight too far and a price too large.
We bid Kealakekua and their favorite son a fond farewell.
> JUST A FEW MILES AWAY IS PART II OF THIS STORY ~ CAPTAIN COOK ~[CLICK HERE][-O-]
That's about it for the harvesting and collection, now they go to the processing plant. This setup is like a dairy farm, a large group of growers are selling their crops to another party who processes them to a certain stage and that is then passed up the line to the various big name macadamia nut candy/snack producers and finally reach the marketplace.
You are all now certified Macadamia experts. The graduate student will already know that the macadamia nut trees were not endemic to Hawaii.
There will also be those who attempt to give credit for the macadamia nut industry to the Scot John Macadam who established the process for street surfacing.
The name Macadamia was placed on these trees by a pair of botanists in Queensland, Australia, in honor of a Dr Macadam. The Macadam in Scotland was long dead before Macadamia nuts were first developed as a commercial product. The Australian aboriginals were familiar with and enjoyed these nuts long before the trees were'discovered' and we all know that there is nothing on Earth that qualifies as present until a White Britisher finds it. One of them 'discovered' Owayhee, as it was referred to then. Guess the original Hawaiians were relieved to find that they were given the status of existing. We have seen the Memorial to that most famous of British explorers.
Nearby Kealekekua is the little town of Captain Cook.
This is the stage where the nuts are at their optimum. Simply put your thumbs on either side of the husks, a little opposing pressure, find that special spot in the sidewalk, get a hammer and go for it.
And here's one that has fallen. The nut inside at this stage will last for a long time. These are roasted intact, then hulled. The hulls are ground up and used as fillers for other kinds of products. Very little waste.
This probably should have been the first thing shown, in the flowering stage. Close examination will give you an idea of why they end up as clusters.