My Macadamia tree is still far too small to be producing any nuts but my next door neighbour has a tree on the border that drops nuts on my side of the fence. These are a lovely treat to find in late winter/early spring when there is not much else around.
Macadamias are subtropical and sensitive to frosts when they are small so it is good to see that one is thriving nearby. They can grow to be very big trees but they are slow growing and can be grown in a container so I’m hoping that I can reasonably manage the height of the tree even if pruning reduces the yield somewhat. Having another tree nearby will help with cross-pollination too.
The nuts are harvested when they drop to the ground (or you can knock down mature nuts with a pole). Remove the outer husk from the nut as soon as you can as it holds moisture and can either go mouldy or cause the nut to go rancid and inedible. Then air dry the nuts in the shade for at least 2 weeks. After that, remove the hard shells and finish drying them in the oven at the lowest temperature setting for about 12 hours.
The hard shells can be extremely tough to crack. The best nutcracker I have found is called B.O.N.K. – short for Bart’s Original Nut Kracker. It is easy to manage without having to use brute strength. You put the nut inside and simply keep screwing down the handle until the shell cracks enough for you to get the nut out (sometimes even whole).
Store the nuts in a cool dry place. Their high oil content makes them spoil rapidly, so you need to consume them quickly. If you have enough you can roast and then freeze them. I just ate mine rapidly!