suburban coconut harvesting tips

coconut harvest

we only have one tree, but sometimes one is enough. we have a LOT of coconuts hanging overhead, so today damian came over to help get a few down.

harvesting coconut

just how do you get coconuts down? outside of calling for help from monkey, you thank your folks for living in a two-story house, go on the top floor or roof, tie a hand-honed scythe onto a discarded broom handle then aim and reap away. (and tell everyone below to stand clear or duck, please)

ready to drink coconut

you need a machete or a big cleaver to cut open a coconut. the first thing you do is cut the bottom end through the husk until you just get to the meat; poke a hole through and drain the coconut. then cut the coconut in half to get to the meat.

splitting coconuts macapuno

the very first coconut damian split open was a macapuno, charmingly and roughly translated as "mutant coconut". although they are now cultivating a tree that yields mostly macapuno, and there are people who can just tell when they see one, generally speaking, you never know where the mutant is, until you cut it open. there is little or no liquid in the cavity, and the meat is thicker, more gelatinous, and very rich yet bland tasting. a highly prized nut.

scraping coconut coconut meat and water

here's a little tip for any future "survivor" contestants: the easiest way to scrape out young coconut meat is to use a piece the husk. a spoon works too :-) save the meat in its water, to preserve the flavour and texture. refrigerate or freeze this as soon as possible as it is highly perishable.

you always want to use green, fat, smooth coconuts for harvesting the meat or water. so what do you do with the old, shrivelly ones?

 dog v coconut

first, you find a lovely boonie dog/askal/poi dog/mutt, like paquita here. then give her a coconut.

paquita v coconut paquita husks paquita v coconut 2

look--instant toy! not only is it good for her teeth, the shredded bits are perfect for adding to your orchids or planting beds for better drainage.

coconut water

after you are done with all that work, don't forget to enjoy a glass of coconut water so fresh the coconut milk rises right to the top....


Hi Santos! Oh, don't I miss these! At my grandmother's place, there were always willing boys around who would scamper up the tree like climbing up steps, and harvest the coconuts.
LOL re. the survivor tip :) That's why you probably wont ever see a Filipino on survivor, or any Asian for that matter.
Paquita is one good husker! She would do well in Survivor too :)

I remember my childhood when I see coconut trees. I miss visiting the province and drinking fresh buko juice.

Hi Santos, it looks so yummy! I like my coconut ice cream, but I'm sure fresh coconut water tastes much better. Is the pretty dog yours?

hi jmom! i've always wanted to be able to scamper up a coconut tree. jackie chan uses a towel; he wraps it around the trunk and uses that to hoist himself up. clever man. you know, i was surprised when they held auditions for "survivor" here, i thought the producers can't be so stupid as to include a) asians who are used to third world conditions but with a first world education, and b) islanders who live in third world conditions in a first world country. namely, us. i rarely watch the show; i was surprised to hear it only took place within a matter of weeks--from the looks of the contestants, they look like they've been suffering for months!

hi toni! we didn't have coconuts for a long time because of all the typhoons. it's so good to be able to have fresh buko juice again.

hi keiko! i think paquita is ours. my cousin dropped her off for babysitting a few weeks ago and she's been here ever since. we also have a crazy cocker spaniel and two spaniel/retriever mix-ups. a full house!

oh yum! i wold love a coconut right now. it's so hot in sydney at the moment. a couple of years ago when i was in vietnam, i sat in an ice cream parlour and had ice cream in a coconut. the coconut came with its top lopped off, and three scoops -- different flavours -- within, and after the ice cream was gone (so quickly it was gone!), the meat was chilled and ready to be scraped from the shell. the coconut water came alongside in its own glass. oh i was happy!

oh, bowb, that sounds *heavenly*

Hi Santos,

Can you believe that I've never tasted fresh coconut? Cracking the darned thing open just intimidates me.

(laughing) and obviously no one's ever roped you into one of those polynesian cultural center tours....

throw it against a concrete wall or down a flight of stairs! that's what i do when the cleaver wigs me out. fresh coconut meat is funky. so not like dried coconut. maybe you'll actually get to try it on your trip :-)

Thanks for explaining 'macapuno' to me, Santos, I never knew that!

Hi Santos, you are lucky to have such sweet doggies! We'd love to have one, but have got a (naughty) cat already.

What a wonderful photo-essay! Neat that you just have to go out onto your roof - much more interesting than plum trees.

I haven't had fresh coconut for half a dozen years (read: since I came to the UK) and now I really want some.

Cool! You got macapuno, can I have them please? ;)
When I was young my father had about 90% batting average in finding out if a coconut (*husks on*) is macapuno by just tapping with his flicking fingers. I don't know how he does it. But he got a lot of practice growing up in a copra harvesting area.

wow, freakish new comment box on blogger....

hi jonny--macapuno is prized for candy and confection making, i suppose because it's so meaty and tender, but honestly i can't the difference unless it's fresh.

hi keiko! four dogs are a lot to care for, but i want another one; the two retriever/spaniel mixes are ancient, i think they are 10 and 14, and the cocker spaniel is 8. paquita is still a puppy so i want her to have a companion her own age, but i'll just have to wait and see.

hi christina! i know fresh coconuts are easier to find in the mainland united states because of the whole raw food craze (use the meat as noodles). i wonder if that will ever get popular in the uk. i can't quite recall where you are--perhaps there's an ethnic grocer near you that might have them?

hi miss celia! i've seen men do that, and i'm always amazed how they know. that particular macapuno came from the middle of the middle bunch of coconuts in the top photo--can you tell the difference from looking at it? i most certainly can't!