Coconut Tree and Its Uses
The Coconut trees are very beautiful to look at. Their tall, slender, ringed trunks are not more than two feet thick. They rise to a height of fifteen to fifty feet.
The Coconut tree has no branches. It has at the top of the trunk, a crown of large, green feather shaped leaves. A leaf is large enough for a man to lie down. It has a shaft in the middle and its barb branch off on either side of the shaft. Just below the crown leaves are the coconuts, hanging like green yellow balloons.
You can build a comfortable cottage entirely out of the different parts of Coconut trees. Their trunks make strong pillars, beams and rafters and their leaves can be plaited to thatch roofs. Leaves could be used to make walls also. Several articles of furniture are made out of the wood of the Coconut tree.
Coir is made of the fiber of the coconut husk. The husk is the outer case that covers the shell inside which are the meat and milk of the fruit. Between the outside of the case and the shell there is a fat cushion of fiber. This cushion of fiber is used for making coir.
Inside the coconut shell is the white meat or kernel which may be about a centimeter thick. This is nice enough to eat. The kernel itself is like a white ball filled with a colourless salty sweet liquid that makes a refreshing cool drink
The kernel yields coconut oil. It has to be dried and pressed. The dried kernel is called the ‘copra’ which is fed into an oil mill for pressing. When the oil is pressed out, there will be slabs of solid matter left over. This is called oil cake. It makes very good cattle feed.
Coconut oil could be used for cooking and also for burning lamps and as hair oil.
Coconuts fetch a high price in the market. If a Coconut tree is planted on a day a baby is born, it will yield a coconut on his or her third birthday. It will go on yielding fruits till the boy or girl becomes a man or woman of eighty.
Full grown Coconut trees need vary little attention. They need only sandy, salty soil and good rains.
Coconut oil is in great demand in the factories of Europe and America as well as of this country. It used for making soaps, hair oils, margarine, artificial rubber and many other things. Strong ropes made of coir strings are used as big machine bolts.