In our second terreno in the colonia there stands a lone macadamia tree. We -- or I should say Oscar Reyes the jefe ín charge of making a jardín over there has just harvested maybe 75 pounds of macadamias. Now these are nuts within shells within shells, so the final yield will be far less. Like coffee, macadamias requaire quite a bit of work. The leaves of the macadamia tree and the branches are all spiny, and there is no easy way to avoid them. It is best to get them off by climbing up and knocking them down and then collecting them. Oscar did that job. He is on the right in the photo below. Guillermo is helping him. Guillermo is in charge of the garden here at the house we live in.
Next, you have to lug the bag to our house where you hope for a few sunny days to dry the outer shell. This shell cracks when it is ready to be peeled off. THEN you hope for some more sunny days so you can dry the next layer. This can be removed when you hear the nut itself rattling around inside. .
Here below are some macadamias, the bigger ones still in their outermost shell, the smaller one in the interior shell.
Getting them out of the interior shell is the really hard part. One day we came home to find our neighbor Ismael drenched in sweat sitting on our curb hammering away. It wasn't a hot day. I want to tell you, each nut is a big deal. Ingrid, his wife, and their three kids were watching. Ismael gave us a nut. That was extremely generous, given the labor involved. Macadamias get a good price, but it is hard-earned.
Our area is the biggest macadamia producer in Mexico. There are other ways besides a hammer to crack the shell but you have to know you will have enough nuts to warrant the expense. I think we may. We are going to investigate. I once had a small bag of macadamias in a drawer in our kitchen when we lived in San Antonio, a bag I'd bought on a trip down before we lived here. We never succeeded in opening more than a couple.