Since i was a kid i have been intrigued with coconut trees and coconuts in general. My earliest memories are of "tyrone" coming to my grandparents’ hotel in an old dilapidated pickup with a bunch of young scruffy guys to "clean the trees". My grandfather's property had loads and loads of coconut trees on it and the danger of a coconut falling and causing injury was always a problem. Instead of paying someone to come and cut down old branches and take down ripe nuts, he would call tyrone. Tyrone's business wasn't cleaning trees at all, but was really selling coconuts and coconut water. When my cousins and i were little there were two important occasions when we would all gather around. The most important was when the lobster man came....we would wait around while 20 or 30 lobster were boiled in a big pot so that we could get the legs that dropped off. Yum yum....we could never get enough freshly boiled lobster legs. I still think they are the best thing on a lobster. Of course the other time was when tyrone and his men came to clean the trees. Those guys seemed to just walk up the 40 foot tall coconut tree like it was on level ground. In those days they just had a rope and a machete and they would climb up and pull themselves into the branches. Once up there they would tie one end of the rope onto a bunch of coconuts, cut the stalk and then lower it down to be untied by someone below. Usually trees would have several bunches. Once all the nuts were collected and taken back to the truck it was our turn to feast. Tyrone could open a "jelly" in about 3 seconds, chopping away the bottom of the nut in a blur. Now it was nearly impossible for a kid under 10 to drink all the water out of a jelly nut, but we would try every time. Once you gave up or miraculously finished it, you would hand it back to him. Tyrone would then cut a "spoon" from the side of the nut and then chop it in half. These guys never wore gloves or shoes, we would marvel at how skillful they were. Now i guess i should clarify what a "jelly" is before i go on. A jelly is a green or young coconut that hardly has any "meat" inside of it. The meat is very thin and delicious with a soft consistency kinda like jellow or jelly. None of us would ever dream of eating hard coconut.....yuk.
If you are lucky you will be able to take some of the shell out and drink the water. This takes some skill and luck. If it doesn't go well and the water leaks all over the place all you need to do is hit the nut a few more times and start sharing the bounty. I can open a coconut this way in about 3 minutes in a rush. It can be a bit more difficult taking the older and harder coconut meat off the shell once its open, but you can just let them gnaw at is which is what lila loves to do anyway. Hope you had a laugh and will use this guide some day. If you have any questions please use the comment section and i or some other coconute expert will answer.