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different ?_encloses a refreshing liquid, cocoa-nut milk ; marked with spots at one end, — holes filled with hard, thick substance; what does this end resemble ?- hence name, from Portuguese, macoco, a monkey. Produced by a beautiful
Tree “the Prince of Palms ; botanical name, Cocos nucifera ; resembles a slender column; from sixty to a hundred feet in height; two feet in diameter; branchless :
“ The high palmetos lift their graceful shade.” Marked with notches or rings ; how caused ? by the falling off of the leaves; two drop annually; these scars indicate its age ; crowned with tuft of large leaves (some 14 ft., others 20 ft. long); look like immense plumes of ostrich feathers. Amid these hang the nuts, in clusters ; from fifty to a hundred gathered from each tree.
II. (1) Localities, (2) Propagation, and (3) Gathering.
1. The most important product of the tropics ; range of growth, fifteen degrees on each side of the equator; chiefly in Ceylon (ten millions growing there at a time); also in East and West Indies, Brazil, Sumatra, Guinea, South Sea Islands:
“Fanned by southern gale, In some green isle of Indian seas ; Or did its graceful shadows sleep
O'er streams of Afric lone and deep ?” 2. Propagated from the nut; ripe fruit selected ; dried ; exposed to the sun and air till leaves burst through the shell ; planted ; grows from the inside, endogenous ; require names of other plants of the same class. Flourishes near the
on coral-reefs, islands, sand-banks. Groves of great beauty - "the foliage arching
forms long vistas, as it were, of a boundless Gothic edifice."
3. Tree bears fruit when twelve years old ; natives climb and gather the nuts. The Cingalese often train monkeys for this work.
III. Uses of various Parts. These may be drawn out by brisk questioning. Uses almost innumerable ; affords food, clothing, shelter, &c., to the natives ; many useful articles to ourselves. To the Polynesians it
" Is clothing, meat and trencher, drink and pan,
Boat, cable, sail, and needle, all in one.” a. Trunk : building timber; posts, drains gutters ; how adapted ? Imported into England as "porcupine-wood." Root, chewed by the natives; very pungent.
b. Buds : as a vegetable ; delicate food ; good pickle ; called “cocoa-nut cabbage;" rarely used, because its removal causes the death of the tree.
c. Leaves : furnish grateful shelter while growing; food for tame elephants in Ceylon; thatch for huts
sails for canoes ; formed into mats, carpets, baskets, lanterns, hats, bonnets, robes, books; how written upon ? with a stylus ; the midrib used for oars and paddles.
d. Juice : extracted from the stem; called Toddy by Europeans, Sura by natives; when taken from the tree it is refreshing; intoxicating when fermented :
“ From the palm to draw refreshing wine, More bounteous fur than all the frantic juice Which Bacchus pours.” - THOMSON.
« Arrack" distilled from fermented toddy ; Jagery - sugar, obtained from it by evaporation.
e. Shells : made into drinking-vessels, vessels of measure (dry and liquid), cups, basins, ladles, &c.
f. Nuts : kernel, principal food of the poorer Indians; oil expressed, “cocoa-nut oil” (distinguish from palm oil); supplies light; exported; nearly three thousand tons imported into England annually valued at 100,0001. ; milk, a cool, refreshing drink :
“ Give me to drain the cocoa's milky bowl.” g. Husk : “coir ;” supplies a curling fibrous material resembling horse-hair ; manufactured into ropes, cord, string, mats, carpets, brushes, brooms, cushions, netting, bags (for expressing liquids from pulped substances), stuffing for mattresses : —
Spun from the fibrous nut, by art, is spread
providence of God as displayed :
(1) In giving the inhabitants of these hot, and in some instances nearly waterless countries, a tree yielding food and drink.
(2) Its hard shell adapts it for floating ; thus conveyed to distant islands, planting itself on their shores ; also for exportation, preserving the kernel during long voyages. (Note. Many cost nothing for freight, used as wedges to set fast the casks, &c., in cargoes of vessels ; hence its cheapness in England).
“ Its (i. e. the cocoa-nut palm’s) very aspect is imposing. Asserting its supremacy by an erect and noble bearing, it may be said to compare with other trees as man with the inferior animals. The blessings it confers are incalculable. Year after year the islander reposes beneath its shade, both cating and drinking of its fruit; he thatches his hut with its boughs, and weaves them into baskets to carry his food ; he cools himself with a fan plaited from the leaflets ; sometimes he clothes himself with the cloth-like substance which wraps round the base of the stalks ; the larger nuts, thinned and polished, furnish him with a beautiful goblet ; the smaller ones with bowls for his pipes ; the dry husks kindle his fires ; their fibres are twisted into fishing-lines and cords for his canoes ; he heals his wounds with balsam compounded from the juice of the nut; and with the oil extracted from its meat embalms the bodies of the dead. He impels his canoe through the water with a paddle of the wood, and goes to battle with clubs and spears of the same hard material.” Melville's Omoo.
LESSON XII. COFFEE. A PRINT of the plant, a few berries, raw and roasted, and a little powdered coffee, will serve to introduce the lesson.
L Description of the Tree and its Produce. The tree : straight trunk; height, fifteen feet, kept down by pruning to about five feet ; why? more convenient for gathering ; branches, slender and drooping ; light evergreen leaves, broad, smooth, glossy, similar to those of the bay-tree ; flowers, white and fragrant (the Arabian jasmine); continue on the tree only two days; succeeded by berries ; red or purple when ripe ; each contains, two oval seeds, beans, or berries. Botanical name, Coffea Arabica.
II. Localities of Plantations. A native of Abyssinia : (a) cultivated in Asia, Africa, and America ; (6) imported into Europe.
a. In Asiatic Turkey, Java, Ceylon, Manilla, Arabia, India; Mozambique ; West Indian Islands, Brazil, Central America.
b. From Ceylon, Java, Mocha (exports six thousand tons annually), New Granada, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Jamaica, Cuba, S. Domingo (or Hayti), Porto Rico, Chili. England re-exports it to Holland, Belgium, Austria, and Italy. The colour of the berry varies,
- e. g., Mocha, dark yellow ; Java and India, paler ; Ceylon and West Indies, of a bluish hue.
III. Propagation, Gathering, Preparation, &c. Propagated by seeds and young plants; plantations situated upon the sides of gently sloping hills ; shade and moisture requisite ; when exposed to the sun sheltered by larger trees ; seeds set from five to ten feet apart ; bears fruit in the second year ; produce of a tree, from one and a half to three pounds of seeds. Harvest commences in May; two or three crops in the year ; the first and the smallest berries of the best flavour. Picked or shaken from trees ; pulped (the outer membrane broken off by wooden rollers); dried; winnowed ; why ? - broken berries, dirt, leaves, &c. removed ; seeds packed for the market ; exported. Roasted in close revolving (why?) cylindrical vessels ; increased to nearly double their former