Learn to grow warm climate nuts!
This course is for the grower who wants to learn more about warm climate nuts.
For most people, a nut is a
type of food and a delightful food at that! Strictly speaking, not all
nuts are edible. This course, however, is only concerned with edible nuts and
in particular, the ones that are grown more extensively around the world
in warm climates.
The tropical nut trees are dependent on your locality and conditions can
vary quite considerably even in tropical areas, for example certain
tropical areas may experience frosts. However there are so many
varieties worth trying that it is worth learning about them all!
The content of this course is very similar to the "Growing Nuts" course,
except this course deals exclusively with nuts grown in the tropics and
The course consists of eight lessons as follows:
- Introduction - Review of the system of plant identification, main groups of nuts, information contacts (i.e. nurseries, seed, clubs etc.)
- Culture - Planting, staking, mulching, watering, pest & disease, feeding, pruning, protection from wind, salt air etc.
- Propagation - This lesson looks at the methods of propagating this group of plants.
There is information on propagation in general and on specific species.
- The Macadamia - A species from Australia that has become popular for production in Australia, South Africa and Hawaii.
- The Pecan
- Other Varieties which Grow in Warm Climates, such as an overview of number of old species you never would have thought of.
- Selecting a site and planting a plot. The most important aspect of
cultivating nuts is the correct site for their cultural needs.
- Growing, harvesting and using nuts. There are various methods used and we look at some of those.
There is a lot to Learn!
Growing and using nuts is not always straight forward. For effective, profitable and safe production, you need to know what cultivars to grow for your soil and climatic conditions; then both how to grow them, harvest and handle the produce after harvest.
Consider: Many types of nuts can be taken from a plant and eaten raw; however many others are either not palatable, or contain toxins, if they are not treated in some way before eating. Washing and cooking are common methods for removing toxins for example:
Alkaloids: are nitrogen containing compounds with certain chemical characteristics such as reacting chemically like alkaline substances. They have many different effects on the human body, for example morphine and codeine in opium are well known pain relieving alkaloids. Nicotine in tobacco is also an alkaloid.
Glycosides: Bitter almonds contain glycoside amygdalin once ingested glycoside amygdalin turns into prussic acid (hydrogen cyanide) which is leached out by using a heating process.
Phytic Acid (Phytates): this is present in cereals and nuts and forms insoluble compounds with calcium which when consumed can render calcium unavailable. Those on vegetarian diets should be aware that phytic acid is a lot higher in this diet. Grains and nuts can be soaked to remove some of the phytic acid.
Resins: the shells around some nuts (e.g. cashews), contains resins – a lacquer like substance that is toxic and can cause skin irritations. Resin needs to be removed carefully, so as to not contaminate the nut.
Tannins: are reddish or light brownish red/yellow coloured astringent acids that are present in some foods including some nuts e.g. walnuts, oak trees (acorns), European chestnuts etc. Tannins are sometimes used in herbal medicines in small quantities and also in leather dying.
Urushiol – this chemical is found in poison ivy but also in the cashew nut shell surrounding the raw cashew. This can cause dermatitis and also is toxic if ingested.