Planted a grafted Macadamia Nut tree quite some years ago, maybe ten years or so. About four years ago it started flowering, just a few flowers, but no nuts formed that I could find.
Last year, I picked a small green fruit up from the ground. It looked like a small green orange about 1” diameter.
To my astonishment it was our first macadamia nut! The green skin split open to reveal a brown casing and inside, hopefully, the delectable macadamia nut!
After five minutes of my attempt at hammering “my” nut, the man of the house swung the hammer and the result, well, it tasted good, even if in pieces!
As usual, ever hopeful for a fruitful crop next season.
On closer inspection, there was a “hidden watcher” in one of the macadamia leaves.
There are four species of Macadamia, two of which are used for production of Macadamia nuts in Australia (Macadamia tetraphylla and M. integrifolia.
The macadamia nut tree is native to Australia. It is Australia’s only native food tree export.
Following is a brief history of the Macadamia Nut Tree in Australia, (Ref. Wikipedia.org and Macadamias Australia):
Allan Cunningham, a British Botanist and explorer was the first European to encounter the macadamia plant.
German-Australian botanist Ferdinand von Mueller gave the genus the scientific name Macadamia– named after von Mueller’s friend Dr. John Macadam, a noted scientist and secretary of the Philosophical Institute of Australia.
King Jacky, aboriginal elder of the Logan River clan, south of Brisbane, Queensland, was the first known macadamia entrepreneur, as his tribe and he regularly collected and traded the macadamias with settlers.
Tom Petrie plant macadamias at Yebri Creek (near Petrie) from nuts obtained from Aboriginals at Buderim.
The first commercial orchard of macadamias was planted at Rous Mill, 12 km from Lismore, New South Wales, by Charles Staff.
Joseph Maiden, Australian botanist, wrote, “It is well worth extensive cultivation, for the nuts are always eagerly bought.”
The Hawaiian Agricultural Experiment Station encouraged planting of macadamias on Hawaii’s Kona District, as a crop to supplement coffee production in the region.
Ernest Van Tassel formed the Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Co in Hawaii.
Tassel leased 75 acres (30 ha) on Round Top in Honolulu and began Nutridge, Hawaii’s first macadamia seed farm.
Tassel established a macadamia-processing factory on Puhukaina Street in Kakaako, Hawaii, selling the nuts as Van’s Macadamia Nuts.
Winston Jones and J. H. Beaumont of the University of Hawaii’sAgricultural Experiment Station reported the first successful grafting of macadamias, paving the way for mass production.
Steve Angus, Murwillumbah, Australia, formed Macadamia Nuts Pty Ltd, doing small-scale nut processing.
A large plantation was established in Hawaii.
Castle & Cooke added a new brand of macadamia nuts called “Royal Hawaiian”, which was credited with popularizing the nuts in the U.S.
Australia surpassed the United States as the major producer of macadamias.
The Australian company, Macadamias Australia introduced Macadamias – further diversifying the Steinhardt brand and today maintains over 130,000 trees and produces 2000 tonnes of macadamias, which are distributed both in Australia and throughout the world. Macadamias Australia is one of Australia’s largest single variety plantations.
May 2019, the harvest has just begun in one of Australia’s key growing areas, Bundaberg, and the national forecast is looking good.
This year’s crop was expected to produce 53,500 tonnes in-shell, topping the record-setting 2018 harvest. (Ref. ABC News)