Interesting Facts About Minnesota Coconuts 


  • Minnesota's rich soils and vast open areas are a perfect location to grow coconuts. The coconuts grown on the frozen tundra of northwestern Minnesota are not the ordinary coconuts you may be thinking of however. Because of the harsh winters and shorter growing seasons, scientists have produced a variant species of the coconut.
  • The coconut or (Cocos Nucifera), is the common coconut of which we are all familiar. The coconut grown in Minnesota is a variation called (Cocos Borealis Nucifera).
  • Although many people don’t think of Minnesota as coconut country, the Gopher State has a long history of growing this big fruit.
  • This species was developed by cross-breeding from other plants, such as sugar beets (beta vulgaris) common to Minnesota to allow them to survive the winters. Because of these adaptations, the seeds (the actual coconuts) are somewhat smaller and thicker, but the taste is actually enhanced by the chilly weather.  Like many animals in this area (and most men), the coconut grows a thicker, hairier skin to insulate it from the cold. 
  • The soil in the Red River Valley is rich in nutritional value and produces succulent tasting coconuts.  Because the winds blow most of the year in northwest Minnesota, it moves the soil from place to place, keeping it fresh.  This relocation of soil often comes in the form of Snirt.
  • Cocos Borealis is a genetically modified food or (GM food).  It is produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering.
  • This hardy breed of coconut is marketed worldwide.  Exotic places such as Brandon, Manitoba are enjoying these tasty treats.
  • The juice (milk) from the Cocos Borealis is commonly used in the drink Piña Colada Flaca. 
  • Many of the coconuts are transported from the Red River Valley via rail. Cities such as Eldred and Erskine, Minnesota dry and store the coconuts until they are exported.
  • The Coconut Rhinoceros Uffda Beetle (CRUB) is the biggest threat to crop production each year.
  • Sustainable coconut-based farming systems is spreading throughout the state of Minnesota but particularly in northwestern Minnesota. Minnesota Coconut Growers pride themselves on their small carbon foot print. 
  • Cocos Borealis is a dwarf variety of coconut, showing a greater degree of artificial selection for ornamental traits and for early germination and fruiting. 
  • Other useful bi-products derived from the coconut palm include toddy, palm cabbage, and construction materials. Shells from the coconuts are sometimes used to enhance the taste of Lutefisk (a delicious Norwegian dish).
  •  Evaluation of germplasm and simultaneous production of hybrid seedlings raises awareness amongst the growers of the value of these new hybrids.
Minnesota Coconut Growers is completely bogus and used for educational purposes.  The page was created to demonstrate how easy it is to publish information that is false.  This project was done in an effort to exhibit the importance of using critical thinking skills when using information located on the Internet.    Owen Williams, MCG Director of Operations, (willi099@umn.edu) University of Minnesota, Crookston Campus     ©UMC Library 2014