Not All Palm Trees Produce Coconuts

March 4

Our site is difficult to see from the air because of the many trees, which provide shade and beautify our compound. I don’t know the names of most of them in English, but some are banyon-type trees. Banyons spread by producing long tendrils from branches that root into the ground creating a network of many trees that are all connected. We have tiny-leafed shade trees that produce a mess of leaves swept daily by the cleaners at the compound, we have broad-leafed trees, and we have a number of palm trees. When we acquired the site in November 2012, I was pleased to see coconuts nested in the palm leaves and had looked forward to being here when the coconuts were ready to eat. When the ASAH girls produced one, I was game to try it, but I’ve seen coconuts with the husk on—the thick covering before the dark brown “wood” we’re accustomed to seeing in the grocery store—and this looked nothing like what I expected.

Up close and peeled, this huge fruit was yellow-brown. No white coconut meat inside. I had a taste and was put off by the stringy texture and the taste. I can’t now remember to report on it, only that it wasn’t pleasant enough to request a second bite. Josh from the clinic told me these are palm nuts and they produce oil, but I haven’t been able to find anything on the Internet that matches what I saw.

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