Macadamia nuts are delicious and nutritious, but did you know that they’re good for Hawaiian agriculture, too? Macadamia nut sales are increasing, and this increase in sales has been beneficial for the local Hawaiian economy.
Macadamia nut trees are native to Australia, and they were brought to Hawaii in 1881. At that time, they mainly served as a wind barrier for the sugarcane fields. However, locals soon learned that there was a profit to be made from macadamia nuts, and the first macadamia nut plantation was planted in 1925. Since that time, agricultural experts at the University of Hawaii have succeeded in cross-breeding different mac nut cultivars to produce several types of Hawaiian macadamia nuts that are the finest mac nuts in the world. In recent years, these tasty nuts have become more popular than ever, thanks to their delicious, buttery flavor and their many health benefits.
The macadamia nut trees themselves offer several benefits for Hawaii. They add value to landscapes by providing shade from the hot sun, and they also add beauty to the land with their attractive flowers and leaves. Macadamia nut trees integrate well with sustainable and organic farming practices, since the husks can be composted and the shells used to make mulch. Thus, with each crop of macadamia nuts, something is given back to the ‘aina (the land).
Macadamia nuts also bring tourism to Hawaii. Conferences centered around the macadamia nut, such as those held by the Hawaii Macadamia Nut Association, attract international travelers and experts in organic farming. At the 2014 annual meeting, the “Big Kahuna” from Hawaii’s Local Buzz, Scott Buske, was a featured speaker.
At Hawaii’s Local Buzz, our macadamia nuts are grown in rich, volcanic soils on our farms. Explore our selection of crunchy and delicious mac nuts, and discover a treat that’s good for your body and for the Big Island.