On Tuesday afternoon, I joined a bunch of people from school and went to the Valhalla Macadamia Nut Plantation.
And we took a chicken bus!
There were no chickens and apparently no maximum capacity for people. No matter how full the bus was, more people got on. It was a little crazy.
And I had such a good time! There were probably 20 or 30 of us on the tour, from all over the world. I spoke to people from Germany, Scotland, the U.K., Canada, Australia, and probably other places too. It was very interesting to hear their perspectives on our current political situation (and that was before the election results).
The tour of the plantation was very short, but it was so interesting to hear about how the plantation works to give people in the community an opportunity to grow and sell their own macadamia nuts. They give trees to people in the community and within three years, those people can produce 300-400 pounds of macadamia nuts each year for 150-200 years. They teach them how to harvest the nuts and how to build their own machines to help with the process.
This is what macadamia nuts look like when they fall off of the tree:
To get the outside husk off, they use this weird machine with an engine and a tire:
After this, the macadamia nuts have to dry out for 90 days (the nut is inside the shell with a lot of water).
Once they are dry, they get sorted by size:
This sorter sorts the nuts into 6 different sizes. And then they are ready to be cracked!
After our tour, we were able to sample nuts, chocolate covered macadamia nuts and the macadamia nut oil…it’s supposed to help prevent aging. A lot of us ordered pancakes made with macadamia nut flour and served with macadamia nut butter.
My Spanish lessons are going well (they are exhausting, but I’m learning a lot), and tomorrow we are going to see how traditional Mayan textiles are made, we will learn how to make tortillas and we’re going to see a traditional Mayan wedding. We are doing this instead of my regular Spanish lesson and mi maestra, Bittia, will be going with me! Just in case you’re wondering, this is so much better than going to work every day (and definitely better than being in the US right now).