I’ve never really been a big fan of nuts. I don’t understand why someone would ruin a brownie, ice cream, or cookies by mixing in nuts. I remember enjoying some salted Planters peanuts at my grandparents house. Otherwise, that’s it. Over the years, my health-nut wife has introduced me to other kinds (usually helping me eat them by mixing them with chocolate chips in a trail mix). But in recent months, I’ve come to truly enjoy macadamias.
Enjoying their taste wasn’t a requirement of coming to African Christian College and our 14,000 tree macadamia nut orchard. They are just good … and good for you (that plug does come with the job).
Learning how to care for this orchard, however, is part of my new life. Fortunately, there is a staff of well-trained orchard workers who really know what’s going on. But I’m learning.
Recently, I spent a day traveling to Low’s Creek, South Africa to visit Ivory Macadamias, the processor of our nuts once they are harvested; and to the guy who presses our nuts into high-quality oil. A week later, we had a visit from five macadamia experts who came to help us improve our crop for next year.
It turns out, July is considered the beginning of the macadamia nut year. There’s no real ‘beginning’ of course, as our nuts grow on trees that have been in the ground for 10-15 years, not seeds planted this year and harvested in a later season. It’s a year-round cycle.
Yet, our final harvest is complete and now attention has turned to the next season. Blossoms are already on the trees and there is much work to do.
My goal is to learn and share some photos, video, and information on the life of a macadamia nut from the beginning of the season to sending its flavorful taste to your tastebuds. More coming soon!