As we approached the farm, we drove thru tall Cook pine trees brought to Hawaii by the famous Capt. James Cook back in the late 1700s.
These trees were planted to provide a wind break to the thousands of
macadamia nut trees planted there.
The macadamia nuts are harvested and shelled much like our walnuts
back home in the States where they are gathered on the ground, hulled then the nut cracked. The big difference is the fact that the limbs have many stages of ripeness thus they are harvested three or four times.
Our group had a chance to sample many of the ways they market the macadamia nut from chocolate covered to of all things, garlic flavored nuts. Most of our group left the farm with several bags of their favorite, chocolate covered macadamia nuts. My favorite was no surprise to many, garlic flavored.
The macadamia nut is relatively new to the Islands having been
introduced from Australia in the 1930s. Full production didn't get
started till the 50s when the word of mouth literally spread the
word to the mainland about it's quality. Today, nearly 50% of the macadamia crop in sold right here in Hawaii.
This was the first stop on our tour that the majority of the tour was
late getting on the bus. Wonder why?
Next stop, the Black Sand Beach area of southern Hilo.
Keep your green thumb growing!