The Lombok ‘Tree of Life’ I The Lombok Giving Tree
Do you know that we have about 200 beautiful Coconut Trees at The Lombok Lodge brand new Private Villa Estate, Gondang Village?
Welcome to your Private Coconut Grove of your Beach Villa at The Lombok Lodge Private Villa Estate!
The Coconut Tree is just an Amazing Natural Resource. In Lombok, they are considered TREE OF LIVE, providing lots of essentials to their population. Living in Lombok for more than 12 years, we are becoming more and more addicted to Coconuts! We eat them, drink their freshwater, and finally use their shells to make beautiful Bowls. There are so many ways to use the Coconut, that’s why they are so sustainable and good for our environment!
With a life span of 60-80 years, the coconut tree is considered a “three-generation tree” as it can support a farmer, his children, and his grandchildren. The tree is slow to mature, bearing coconuts in six to 10 years.
THE COCONUT TREE, THE GIVING TREE
The ‘Tree of Life’ because all the parts of the entire tree – from top to bottom – are used to sustain human life. It must be the most useful tree in the world, bar none. The coconut is found in many parts of the world and on the top 10 coconut producers in the world; Indonesia!
The variety of edible products derived from the coconut palm qualifies the tree for VIP — Very Important Plant — status. But wait; there’s more. As the Indonesians say, “there are as many uses for the coconut palm as there are days of the year.”
THE FRUIT (THE COCONUT)
The outer layer is called the husk, which is a hard, fibrous layer; it is the source of coir which is used to make commercial products like brushes, carpets, clothes, doormats, fertilizer, fishnets, fuel, hollow blocks, insulators, mattresses mats, ornaments, ropes, plastic boards, wall boards, yarn, etc.
The second layer under the husk is the shell which covers the meat inside; the shell can be burned to make fuel or charcoal, or used to make bags, baskets, cups, frames, jewelry, lamps, ornaments, pots, purses, serving dishes, trays, etc. Activated carbon, which is made from its charcoal, is used in air purification systems.
Inside the shell, the core of the coconut, are the meat and coconut water (or coconut juice). The meat is grated and squeezed to produce coconut milk, which is used in cooking a whole gamut of dishes, from appetizers to main courses and desserts; it is also made into candies, chips, flour, and animal feeds. The meat also produces coconut oil, which can be used not only for cooking, but also to make butter, crude oil, margarine, pomade, soap, and shampoo, among others.
THE COCONUT WATER
The thin liquid inside is the coconut water or coconut juice, and should not be confused with coconut milk (which is extracted from the meat). The water from the young coconut (buko) makes a refreshing drink when chilled, and is said to help balance the electrolytes in the body.
The water from the mature coconut (niyog) is not as pleasant-tasting, and is used to make vinegar, alcoholic drinks, nata de coco, etc. It is a fact that during the Pacific War of the 1940s, coconut water was used as emergency plasma transfusion to wounded soldiers.
“Inflorescence” is the arrangement of flowers on the stem or twig of a plant or tree. The coconut tree’s bouquet of inflorescence is a beautiful thing to behold. The unopened flower buds are the source of coconut sap, which is used to make alcoholic drinks (tuba and lambanog), honey/nectar, sugar, vinegar, sugar, yeast, among others. There can be about 5 to 12 seeds in the inflorescence which could mature into coconuts.
The leaves are woven into roofs and walls; they are used in cooking to wrap food and rice cakes, and in handicraft to make bags, balls, fans, hats, etc. Dried leaves produce good-quality paper pulp. The sturdy ribs are used to make brooms, placemats, window shades, etc.
THE HEART OF PALM (THE PITH)
The heart of palm, or pith, which is found inside the upper trunk of the tree, is edible, and can be made into many delicious dishes. This is a prized part of the tree because you have to chop down the tree to get the pith.
The trunk of the tree is made into charcoal and lumber for building construction and making furniture, jewelry, ornaments, and shampoo. The bark is also used in making paper pulp.
The roots are made into rope or twine, and can be used for making beverages, dyes, medicines, etc.
THE MYSTERY OF COCONUT MIGRATION
Coconuts are fascinating spheres of delicious goodness. They’re found all over the world in places you wouldn’t expect to find them. The question is: how did they get there?
The origin of the coconut is still a hotly debated topic – believe it or not – even after all these years. It is generally accepted that the coconut originated in India and Sri Lanka and float-distributed itself around the world by riding ocean currents. The similarities of the local names of the coconut in the Austronesian – an area extending from Madagascar in the west to the Pacific islands in the east – region is also used as evidence that the plant originated around India.
O. F. Cook was one of the first scientists to suggest a different hypothesis. Cook determined that the coconut had originated in the Americas, as the coconut population found there pre-dated European discovery and the chance of coconuts from India washing up there was slim. This was supported by Thor Hyerdahl, who used Cook’s hypothesis to support his idea that the Pacific Islanders also originated from the Americas. But despite these dissenters, the Indian-Sri Lankan origin story is still thought to be the source of truth.
A popular theory suggests that coconuts can travel 110 days or 4,800 km by sea and still be able to germinate. Thor Heyerdahl, however, provides an alternative, and much shorter, estimate based on his first-hand experience crossing the Pacific Ocean on the raft Kon-Tiki:
“The nuts we had in baskets on deck remained edible and capable of germinating the whole way to Polynesia. But we had laid about half among the special provisions below deck, with the waves washing around them. Every single one of these was ruined by the sea water. And no coconut can float over the sea faster than a balsa raft moves with the wind behind it.”
Regardless of how far they can travel and germinate, there’s no doubt that coconuts have travelled small distances from island to island. Coral atolls that support no native plant life have coconut trees hanging on for dear life just above sea level. But it’s far-fetched to think the spread of coconuts was due only to floating fruit and ocean currents. There’s no doubt that sea-faring people over the years have helped the distribution of coconut trees.
Coconut fruit in the wild is light, buoyant and highly water resistant. However, the placement of the eye of the nut (down when floating), and the positioning of the coir cushion seems to indicate they’re there to protect the water-filled nut when dropping on rocky ground rather than for flotation.
Specimens have been collected from the sea as far north as Norway but these were most likely traded or taken as a souvenir. In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut was first brought to the islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in Oceania. They have been found in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coasts of Africa and South America. It’s thought that they’ve been in the Caribbean for less than 500 years, as the native inhabitants do not have a word for them, instead of using the Portuguese name. But evidence of their presence on the Pacific coast of South America antedates Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the Americas, which continues to raise questions of their origin.
IS COCONUT A SEED, FRUIT, OR NUT?
Some would say that a coconut is basically a nut, as the name ‘coconut’ might suggest, while others claim that it is a fruit or a seed. Botanically speaking, the coconut is a fibrous, one-seeded drupe; however, when using loose definitions, the coconut can be all three: a fruit, a nut, and a seed.
From a strictly botanical point of view, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe; in other words, a dry drupe. A drupe is basically a fruit in which a fleshy part is encompassed by the hardened outer part, which houses a seed inside. A drupe has three layers: the exocarp (the outermost ‘hardened’ layer), the mesocarp (the ‘fleshy’ middle part), and the endocarp (the hard layer surrounding the seed). Other examples of drupes are mangos, almonds, peaches, plums, and cherries.
A coconut, however, can also be called a seed since the seed is the reproductive part of a flowering plant. A seed is essentially a ‘baby plant.’ If you look at one end of a coconut, you see three black pores, also called ‘eyes.’ One of these pores gives rise to the sprout. Thus, a coconut is by definition also considered a seed.
Finally, it is also a nut, as a loose definition of a nut is nothing more than a one-seeded ‘fruit.’ This definition gives coconuts a dual identity, allowing them to be classified as fruits and nuts.
So, once and for all, a coconut can be a nut, a seed, and a fruit, and all at the same time.
Coconut is a very popular beverage, especially in the day and age of diets and healthy lifestyles. It’s rich in electrolytes, helps you stay hydrated, and contains a good dose of essential minerals as well as vitamins. But since it’s made with coconuts that are known to be rather caloric, is coconut water fattening? Will drinking a lot of it lead to weight gain?
Coconut water isn’t very caloric, so it shouldn’t cause weight gain as long as you drink it in moderation. Unlike water, it does contain some calories, but it’s a less caloric and much healthier alternative to some other electrolyte beverages and sports drinks. What’s more, adding some coconut water to your diet can help you reap some wonderful health benefits aside from hydration.
How many calories are in a single serving of coconut water? One cup of freshly made coconut water contains around 46 calories. Most of these calories come from carbohydrates and the rest from fat and protein. Considering how many health benefits drinking coconut water brings you, a single glass isn’t too caloric.As a result, you should be perfectly OK drinking coconut water from time to time without worrying about any side effects on your weight. In addition, coconut water is 94% water, fat-free, and cholesterol-free. This means that it doesn’t increase your risk of diabetes and won’t lead to plaque formation in your blood vessels.
These conditions raise your risk of obesity and weight gain, so it’s beneficial to know that drinking coconut water won’t increase your likelihood of developing them.
Aside from being incredibly hydrating, coconut water is rich in several minerals, especially potassium.
This mineral helps flush out extra sodium from your body through urine. High sodium levels in your body are bad for your cardiovascular system and may increase your risk of high blood pressure and strokes. So, drinking beverages rich in potassium can be beneficial in lowering your blood pressure and preventing strokes. Unlike most fruit juices, coconut water is relatively low in calories and sugars, making it a great addition to a healthy, balanced diet!
COCO-NUTS ABOUT YOU
Did you know that Coconut Trees produce 12 to 14 leaves in a year? By counting number of leaf scars above ground one can estimate the age of a palm. Add one or two years depending on the depth of planting.
Now that we resolved the identity crisis of our beloved coconut, it’s time to grab one and pop a piece in your mouth as a delicious, healthy reward!
Safety Tip: Don’t a nap under a coconut tree in your private coconut grove at The Villa Estate – the heavy nuts fall without warning!
Owner The Lombok Lodge Hospitality ®