Macadamia Nut Orchard
In 1981, John Moore, a horticulturist in his 60’s serving at the Mission, asked for an acre of land to develop an experimental orchard. His vision was to identify and develop a fruit bearing tree that would provide an ongoing income for the orphanage in the future. His request was approved and he proceeded to plant and experiment with hundreds of varieties of fruit bearing trees and plants. After 10 years of research and testing, he selected the macadamia nut. One reason he felt this was a good choice was because this was not being grown in Mexico (most are produced in Hawaii and Australia) and would not put us in competition with the local ranchers and growers. He also found a variety that was drought and frost resistant – necessary qualities in the Baja climate.
NUECES A TI! (Nuts to You!)
We currently market our products only to visitors at the Mission. Olive Kieler and other volunteers developed amazing flavors and tasty treats. Visitors are well acquainted with the great variety of yummy goodies they have produced. We are also grateful to McCormick’s for the donation of spices to flavor our roasted nut products. We’re making an effort to export our products. We know that there are markets for other macadamia nuts products such as oils and butters, and that there are uses for the shells (mulch, animal feeds, fuels).
Now – 15 years later – over 2,200 macadamia nut trees planted on 10 acres are reaching their peak production years. The nuts are grown organically and harvested by hand from November to March (the ripe nuts fall to the ground; this is the only way to determine if the nut is ready for harvest). We currently harvest 4,000 pounds per year, but when the all the trees reach maturity, by the year 2012, we expect a harvest of 18,000 pounds per year.
Year by year, with the help and advice of visitors and volunteers, we have been able to make improvements in equipment and processing in The Nut House. But more is needed to enable us to process the expected harvest that is coming. We believe God has a plan. And we believe He will send the help and knowledge that is needed to make John Moore’s vision a reality – a harvest that will support the orphanage for years to come.
Are you part of that plan? Please, contact us if you can help in this ministry.
What happened to the Experimental Orchard? Today, it is the Prayer Garden for staff and visitors to enjoy walking paths and seating areas. Many of John’s experiments continue to produce exotic fruits and other produce for the staff to enjoy.