The Macadamia Nut Industry in Hawaii
Articles and information about the Macadamia Nut industry
in the Hawaiaiian Islands.
Macadamia Nut Processing Plant
Photo Credit: Kirk Lee Aeder
History of Macadamia Nut Farming in Hawaii
In 1881 an Australia tourist brought some macadamia
nut seeds to Hawaii, and they were planted at Kapulena
near the Waipio Valley by sugar plantation manager
William H. Purvis is Macadamia nuts were first
planted commercially in Hawaii in 1921, when
Ernest Van Tassel of Massachusetts
planted a macadamia nut plantation on the island
of Oahu,hear honolulu. In 1922 he formed the Hawaii
Macadamia Nut Company, and several other Hawaii
planters also started macadamia nut farms.
Commercial processing of macadamia nuts began at
Van Tassel's Kakaako factory. The nuts were
shelled, roasted, salted, bottled, and sold
as Van's Macadamia Nuts.In the 1930's, Ellen Dye
Candies and the candy shop in the Alexander Young Hotel
began selling chocolatecovered macadamia nuts.
Hawaii now has 700 macadamia nut farms, and eight
macadamia nut processing plants, and the industry
employes approximately 3000 workers.
Facts About Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts grow on trees and they
are part of the protea family. A macadamia
tree takes about seven years to begin
producing nuts, and it will be at it's
production peak when it is 10 to 12 years old.
The nuts are not picked off the trees.The fall off
the tree when they are fully ripe, and they
are harvested at that time. The nuts must
be husked within 24 hours after falling off
the tree. A tree can produced about 65 pounds of
nuts a year.
Hawaii in a Nutshell
A 2002 article by Tim Ryan in the Honolulu Star
Bulletin Newspaper about macadamia nut production
in Hawaii and macadamia nut farms on the Big Island.
Hawaii Macadamia Nut Production
Preliminary Season Estimates (PDF)
Final Season Estimates (PDF)
Macadamia Nut Farms in Hawaii
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company
This small, indepenently owned macadamia nut company
has orchards along the northern Hamakua Coast of the
Big Island of Hawaii. I'm certain if they have their
own orchards, or if they work with a group of
independent macadamia nut farmers.
ML Macadamia Orchards
This macadamia nut producer has planted
more then 4000 acres of macadamia nut trees
in three different locations on the Big island
of Hawaii. They sell all of their nuts to
the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation.
Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts
The original orchard planted by the company that
would later be known as Mauna Loa, was planted in 1946
near Kea'au on the Big Island, and the first crop was
harvested in 1956. By 1976, Mauna Loa had converted
five sugar plantations to macadamia nut plantations.
Today they have nearly 10,000 acres of orchards
on the Big Island, and their main processing plant is
near Hilo on the east coast of the Big Island.
MacFarms of Hawaii
This macadamian nut comany planted their first
orchard in 1977and they now have the world's
largest single macadamia nut orchard, located
on the South Kona coast of the Big island and nearly
4000 acres in size.
2002 Honolulu Star Bulletin Article
Islands of Hawaii
Hawaii for Visitors
Elsewhere on the Web
Crop Profile for Macadamia Nut in Hawaii (2002)
A NOTE FROM KATHIE: If you have any corrections or updates to the information on
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