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About Our Mac Nuts

Macaw

Hawaii’s Best Macadamia Nuts are grown on our family farm on the Big Island. Our Macadamia Nuts are preferred by Birds especially Hyacinth Macaws. Macaw birds love our Mac Nuts! Our Mac Nuts are also preferred by people with a desire for a very High Quality, Fresh Tasting, Nutritious Nut. Our Macadamia Nuts are great for people who are on a raw food diet. Our Nuts are always naturally air dried…never cooked (cooking robs the nuts of flavor and nutrition). Our nuts are 100% pesticide free. Since our Macadamia nuts are the only product grown here on our farm they never come into contact with any other nuts such as peanuts, therefore they are safe for people who have food allergies.
 
Description and Botany
Our macadamia nut trees belong to the family of Proteaceae. They are native to the coastal rain forest areas of Australia. Macadamia seeds were first imported into Hawaii in 1882 by William Purvis and macadamias have since become the most important tree crop in Hawaii.
 
Productivity
In our orchard in Hawaii the trees are planted with grafted seedlings. The trees can start bearing a crop in the fifth year after planting and full production is reached in 12 to 15 years. The trees require 60-120 inches of rainfall a year and are grown at an elevation of 300 ft. above sea level.
The macadamia nuts are harvested manually after they have fallen every 3 weeks. In Hawaii the nuts typically drop 8 to 9 months out of the year from May to December.
 
Soil and Fertilization
Our macadamias are grown on volcanic lava soil and are fertilized four times a year to ensure good production and growth. All the husks, leaves and trimmings are used to replace and supplement the soil nutrients on our farm. Bee hives are also kept on the farm because the bees help to pollinate the trees to increase blooms.
 
Harvest and Processing
At Hawaii’s Best In-Shell Macadamia Nuts the processing of the In-Shell Nuts is very labor intensive and most of the work is still done by hand. Once the nuts are hand-picked from the ground they are gathered into bags weighing around 50 lbs each and brought to the husking facility which is located within the orchard. The outer green husk is then taken off by a machine which is completed within 24 hours of harvest to prevent heat respiration and molding. The nuts are then sorted manually by size. Bad nuts are discarded and nuts which may be unacceptable for humans or pet consumption are mulched, composted and introduced back into the orchard.
 
Air Drying In Shell
When the nuts are first harvested they have a high moisture content of up to 30%. By drying the nuts in open air for 4-5 weeks in well ventilated bins the moisture content then goes down to 5 – 8%.
 
Inspection of Macadamia Nuts
A visual inspection is done of each nut before it is put in the mesh bag and shipped out to look for any bad nuts. If you find an occasional moldy or shriveled nut that might be one that was not picked from the orchard quickly enough. Either the pickers did not see it on the ground, or it was in a grassy area or something similar. A few moldy nuts in your order are possible and should be covered by the extra half pound of nuts that we include in every box over 10 pounds. If you have more than a few moldy nuts this was most likely caused by moisture build up in the shell.
 
For example: If the nuts had been sitting in the box in the sun somewhere at the post office or in a car and then you get them and put them in the fridge that would make the nuts sweat and moisture would build up inside the shell. The excess moisture will then make the kernal mold. Also, any extreme temperture changes will cause condensation and this could cause the kernel to mold. So be sure to avoid rapid temperature change.
We recommend using a mac nut cracker to slightly crack the nut before feeding it to your bird. This way you can be sure that the kernel does not have a mold problem. While most birds will not eat a moldy nut, some especially young birds may still eat it. This is a safe way to know that your bird will not come into any contact with mold spores. We sell mac nut crackers here on our website.
 
Macadamia Nut Sizes
Small size Mac Nuts range from 5/8 - 7/8 inch diameter
Standard size Mac Nuts range from 7/8 - 1 inch or more diameter
 
Cracking the Tough Shells
The nuts can be cracked by carefully tightening them in a bench vice or striking them with a hammer after placing them in a clear plastic bag. We also have specialty nut crackers available from our store.
 
Feeding the nuts to Hyacinth Macaws
 
Humans crack open the nut and then eat the inside kernel so it's up to you if you want to wash off the shell.
 
Birds put the nuts in their mouth to crack them open so we recommend to always wash off the shell first.
 
No pesticides are used on our farms Macadamia Nut trees or nuts, and at the time of shipping the nuts are throughly inspected for quality and only the best of what is avaiable is included in your order. That being said, we recommend, as with any food item that does not come in a sealed package, such as a apple, that you inspect and wash the nuts right before giving them to your bird, and do not let the nut shells come in contact with your birds' water source. While the chances of your order coming into contact with any outside factors and becoming contaminated before you recieve it are slim, the safety of your beloved pets is paramount and we would hate for your pet to get sick from something getting on the shell and then going in its mouth.
 
 
Storage of Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts contain more oil than other nuts therefore care should be taken when storage is required in order to prevent the nuts from going rancid over time.
 
Two Good ways of storing the nuts that we know of:
1. You can hang them in their mesh bags in a cool, dry place. You can store the nuts like this for a few months.
2. Freezing is a better way of storing when it is done right (especially if you are living in a hot, humid climate). If you freeze the nuts, you should only take out what you need for the day. The thawing process builds up moisture inside the shell and the nuts will begin to mold within a couple of days. Freezing keeps the product fresher and you also do not have to worry about any insects getting to the nuts.
 
Two Bad ways of storing the nuts that we know of:
1. Do not keep them in the box that they came in for an extended period of time. This will cause them to start molding.
2. Do not put them in a sealed tupperware container. This will cause condensation and they will start to mold.
 
To avoid any problems created by long term storage we strongly encourage you to try our subscription program. This is a great way to ensure your nuts are always fresh. You can sign up to have your order shipped every 1, 2 or 3 months with whichever quantities you desire. You will also receive 5% off your orders!