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The niu or coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is referred to in Hawaiian as the Kumu Nui or 'great source’ - and with good reason. In ancient Hawaii, a niu would be planted at the birth time of a kama’ aina or `child of the land'. The tree would bear fruit around the seventh birthday, and continue to provide food, drink, shelter, rope, medicine, utensils, and many other important every day items for up to 70-100 years.
Today coconuts are still used in everyday Hawaii life and the ‘coconut’ has become a buzz word for healthy living. It’s an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and is chock-full of electrolytes which makes coconut water thee best for post workout hydration. Drinking it from the source is best, but I also love Waiola and Wai Koko when I'm on the go.
The oil is excellent for keeping skin and hair young and beautiful. It's antioxidant properties slow down the aging process by protecting the body from harmful free radicals. Ryan makes an amazing Coconut Skin Serum infused with locally grown vanilla bean and a touch of organic coffee and flowers of the coconut tree. It smells delicious and has a wonderful silky feel. It's one of my favorite products for keeping my super-dry skin supple.
Eating coconuts also supports the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. It does this by improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium. Plus, coconut prepared in all its edible forms are so delicious! Bonus!
What first made you passionate about coconuts and their many uses?
In 2012, I became obsessed with the idea of self-sufficiency. I started a small farm and began producing all of my own food from scratch. Coconuts played a central role in my dishes.
When was Coconut Information started?
I started teaching workshops about 4 years ago. The idea was to share all the information I had gathered in past 8 years, and condense it down to one hour of teaching people how to eat, plant & use more cocos.
What can we expect from Coconut Information in the next 5 years?
We are publishing a coconut moon calendar & working on a new Coconut Information book which covers everything from planting to oil making. We also just perfected our coconut body scrub recipe & will be releasing that next month.
Your on a mission to plant 1,000 coconut trees, what number are you currently at?
As of today we've planted 140. We have some land leases in negotiation for a larger orchard. Every coco counts - if anyone you know wants to plant a tree have them contact us, we'll provide free baby trees. Ideally we'd like to see at least one tree in every person's yard.
Approximately how many coconuts do you harvest each year?
Around 10,000. Each tree can have up to 12 racks (or "bunches") of coconuts, and each rack has 5 - 20 coconuts on them.
What products do you make and where can they be found?
Choice Health Bar in Lahaina has our sparkling coconut water on tap, and freshly-made coconut milk is available for pickup at our farm. You can buy all of the tools needed for coconuts on our website and we share several recipes for making ice cream, milk, gravy and more! And our amazing Coconut Skin Serum can be found at Driftwood in Makawao and following Maui locations: