How Organic Macadamia Nuts are Harvested

The current demand for raw organic macadamia nuts continues to outpace supply. We had a company from Jupiter Florida contact us last week looking to order 1000+ pounds, but unfortunately, like them, we have been unable to get our hands on them for a few months.

Why are raw macadamia’s becoming more difficult to find?

Although season does play a role, much of their lack of availability has to do with the immense amount of effort required to harvest them.  Raw / organic mac nuts are usually grown on small farms, and the entire process is very tedious and labour intensive. Now Let’s take a look at exactly what is involved… The fruit that contains mac nuts grow in small bunches on trees.  Their outer husk is either green or brown depending on their age.  Farmers use long wooden poles with small baskets on the end to remove them from the trees.

Macadamia Nuts on Tree
Macadamia nuts in husk before being removed from tree.

Once they are removed from the tree, the fruits with cracked husk are separated from those without cracks.  Fruit with fully intact husks need to be dried before they can be removed from the shell.

Macadamia nuts removed from tree
Macadamia nuts in husk after removal from tree.

The drying process takes a few weeks and involves layering the nuts between thick cloth.

Drying Mac Nuts
Drying macadamia nuts between layers of cloth.
mac nut with cracked husk
Macadamia’s with cracked husks.

Once the husks have cracked, the nuts can be removed from their shell.  If the nuts are not dry enough, they will stick to the inner portion of the shell.  When a mac nut is ready to be cracked, it usually rattles in the shell. The next step in the harvesting process is cracking the shell of the seed and removing the nut, which is normally performed by hand using various vice like tools, hammers etc.  Mac nut shells are extremely tough and very difficult to crack.

Macadamia nut with husk and shell removed.
Macadamia nut with husk and shell removed.

So there you have it… the macadamia truly is one tough nut to crack! Will you appreciate them a little more next time you eat them now that you know more about the harvesting process?

Looking for fresh raw / organic Macadamia nuts?  We sell them here when we can get them!

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