Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jungle Macadamia Nuts


I'm relieved to report that picking Jungle Mac Nuts is not nearly as terrifying as picking Jungle Coffee

I'm relieved because I've spent about 5 billion hours picking mac nuts over the last two months.

In fact, it's all rather benign.  Imagine strapping on knee pads and taking a dishpan and 5-gallon pail and a few burlap sacks out into a Macadamia Nut grove, where the nuts are literally littering the ground.

You are given a "bay" to pick, a grid between mature mac nut trees.  You pop your iPod earphones in, crank the dance tunes, and for 2.5 hours, you're on your hands and knees picking nuts off the forest floor as fast as you can go.  The only decision you need to make is which nuts to pick up. 

{Insert hitchhiking joke here.}

Sometimes what looks like a nut is just an empty husk, and the nut has fallen out already.  Sometimes the nut has started to rot or sprout or it's infested with ants or partially eaten by rats. 

The mac nut grove is quite shady and cool, as the trees were planted with just enough spacing for each canopy to reach the next tree, producing 100% shade on the forest floor before.  There are a few ambitious mac nut tree seedlings which manage to sprout here and there, which we pull out.  These seedlings are referred to as "keikis," (pronounced 'cake-ease'), the Hawaiian word for children.

About 3 1/2 full dishpans produce two full 5-gallon buckets, and two 5-gallon buckets make one guinea sack full of nuts.

In 2.25 hours I can pick 4 full bags.

Not that I'm bragging mind you.  But I am pretty good at picking nuts.

I also usually get to sort all the hulled mac nuts the next morning,  a job I love as it happens to take place right beside the pullet coop, where I can chatter with the "girls" as I make my way back and forth with racks full of nuts ready to stack and dry.

No ants swarming over my body.  No spiderwebs wrapping around my face.  Occasionally I see an earwig (ish) or a small centipede (yikes) which I stay away from, but for the most part, benign.

Oh, and one of my other favorite parts about the mac nut forest?

That's where Beyonce the Red Jungle Fowl hen lives.

All by herself.

Every mac nut forest needs a Beyonce. 

Trust me on this one.


Anonymous said...

Love Beyonce!

Victoria Strauser said...

Thank you Monique!

Jess said...

I bet I'd be a good nut picker too.

Can I have Beyonce?

The bloggess post you linked to? Best thing I've read in a long time. Hilarious!

Jess said...

And I seriously had a blog post draft in my brain (from a few days ago) titled "choosing my battles". But now I'd feel I was copying someone... hmmm...

Victoria Strauser said...

Aww... I'm sure your battles are much, much different than the Blogess' - I hope you write that post!

(I'm going to miss Beyonce much more than I will miss picking nuts!)

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