We’re used to working with coconut husk every day here at Fertile Fibre. But what lies beneath the shell?
What’s your full name?
Can I call you Coconut?
[sighs] If you must.
Why the sigh?
Well it’s actually quite insulting. My three eyes in my inner shell reminded Spanish explorers of a grinning face, or a goblin. So they named me coco, meaning goblin. It’s hardly flattering.
How do you describe yourself?
That’s a difficult one. I’m a fruit, and a nut and a seed all in one. This technically makes me a drupe.
Also there’s many different layers to me. So many people are put off by my outside layer, the exocarp. But inside is the mesocarp or fibrous husk. Then the thin woody layer around the white coconut is the endocarp.
Where do you come from?
We think we began in Indonesia and Malaysia. We’re quite good sailors though so bobbed across many oceans. That’s why we’re so widespread – 70 countries at the last count.
Have you been surprised by your popularity in recent years?
Well yes, I’m delighted how I’m becoming such an alternative for dairy products such as cream and milk. Of course coconut oil has been used for many years for cooking. But now it’s being used in beauty and hair products too.
What’s your favourite moment in history?
What’s your favourite song?
I had great fun taking part in Pinky and Perky’s version of “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts”. I’m the one in the middle.
What’s your favourite recipe?
Oh, that’s far too difficult. I’m so versatile! This collection includes a sorbet and soup: The 10 best coconut recipes
How do you feel about your coir being used in UK gardens?
I think it’s fantastic! It’s great that what was a waste product is now helping gardeners. Your Fertile Fibre coir-based composts are so much better than using peat compost. We grow so fast that it’s easy to replace us so we’re very sustainable.