How the Macadamia Nut Helps Hawaii

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.

Mac nut tree blossomsMacadamia 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 croMac nut grovep 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.

3 thoughts on “How the Macadamia Nut Helps Hawaii

  1. Sarah Lancaster

    I am so glad that you mentioned the importance of a macadamia nut tree. The history of the tree is quite fascinating and I would have never even realized until I read this article. I had no idea that the shells can be used to make mulch! My grandmother lives in Hawaii. I have never been, but she always talks about how beautiful all the trees are! She absolutely loves it there along with all the types of macadamia nuts they have to offer!

  2. Mark

    The above photo is of a grove of trees that has been herbicided. How do I know? I used to live in an area of Florida that grows tropical fruit trees, and all of the very clean rows under the trees – especially when there is grass like in the photo – is achieved by herbicide. Also there is no mulch around any of the trees which suggests that grove also is being fertilized by chemical NPK, and probably chemical fungicide as well. If you truly are an organic farm, I would remove that photo. If you aren’t then I would suggest stop using herbicide, chemical NPK, and chemical fungicide to get those beautifully clean results.

    1. Hawaii's Local Buzz

      So sorry I didn’t even see this comment until now. The photo you’re referring to is not a photo of our farm — it’s a photo of a macadamia nut grove owned by someone we know (and not someone whose nuts we currently use). We do appreciate the comments and will be glad to pass them along to the person who actually owns those trees. Normally once macadamia nut trees are fully mature, there isn’t a real need to use any kind of herbicide because a combination of shade from the tree itself and macadamia nut husks and shells that are used to cover the ground under the trees are sufficient. I don’t actually know what this particular farmer’s practices are, but I would be very surprised if he invested any time & money spraying. I also have no idea what fertilizer he uses so I cannot comment on that.

      We grow quite a lot of things on our farm, including coffee, and while we are not certified organic, we use organic farming practices as much as possible. Our products are all-natural, contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients, and we do not use any pesticides at all, but we do not make an “organic” claim for any of the products we sell. We do not grow macadamia nuts here at Paradise Meadows. We work with a partner farmer (not the one who owns the grove in the picture here) and purchase almost all of the nuts he grows. We buy them right off the tree and do all the processing from the tree to the bag. That farmer has assured us that he does not use herbicides or pesticides in his orchard.

      Hope that helps clarify things.


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