Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/394

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The Sensitive Brazil Nut

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����The Nuts Are Stored on Board River Lighters to the Nearest Port of Call for Ocean Steamers. They Are Turned Over with Shovels Each Day and Ventila- tors Keep a Current of Air Circulating Below Decks

��APOD with a diameter of from five to six inches, in a thick, hard woody outer covering, contains the so-called Brazil nut of commerce, from twenty to twenty-four of these seeds being closely packed in one shell. On board the ves- sels the greatest care is taken of the nuts. They arc turned over daily and kept supplied with a constant current of fresh air. Twenty-four hours of stormy weather in which the ventilators have to be closed is suflicient to ruin an entire cargo. Every pre- caution is taken to kee|) the atmosphere "comfortable," for the sensitive nut feels the slight- est change of lem[)eralure.

As they begin to ripen the pods fail and are gathered by the na- tives, who, cutting the outer

��shell with a machete, collect the nuts and carry them in baskets to the rivers on which they are transported by canoe, launch, or river steamers, to the nearest port of call for ocean steamers on the Amazon River.

���Steel Tubs Are Used in Transferring the Nuts to the Oce.in Going Steamers from the Lighters as an Extra Precaution Against Dampness

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