Moringa Oleifera is a modern day building block for a sustainable future

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About a year ago, we decided to invest in Moringa tree's, also known as the "Miracle Tree". If you wish, you can click here (opens a new tab) to follow the story - or read on.

Moringa Oleifera

As the orchid grows, we are starting to take a few samples of seed pods to get an idea of size and weight of the seeds.

These figures may not apply to every growing region in the world but it will give you a reference point.

Average mass of Moringa Oleifera seeds

Air Dried (about 3 months)

10 x Seeds + Shells + Wings

10 x Seeds + Shells

10 x Seeds

10 x Shells (Broken)


= 2.5 grams

= 2.5 grams

= 2.0 grams

= 0.5 grams

Two Weeks after Harvest

10 x Seeds + Shell + Wings


= 2.5 grams

Air Dried (about 3 months)

1 box = 0.2 x 0.24 x 0.15 m

          = 0.0072 m3

          = 1,245 g gross

          = 1,095 g nett (box = 150g)

Results

Based on the calculations on the left, 1 cubic meter of seeds (with shells) should be around 152 kg.

Moringa Seeds with Wings

With Wings

Moringa Seeds 2 Weeks After Harvest

Green - 2 Weeks after Harvest

Moringa Seeds with No Wings

No Wings

Moringa Seeds De-Shelled (Decorticated)

De-Shelled (Decorticated)

It was interesting to note that the shell was only about 20% of the total weight. The weight of the wings was negligible.

It was also interesting to note that the difference between the dry seed and the wet seed was also negligible - other than the fact that the wet seed had some green colour and the dry seed was brown, there was no difference.

Average volume of Moringa Oleifera seeds

Results

1 Cup / 247 Seeds
and Shells


= 247 Seeds with their Shells

= 1/3 Cup Seeds Only

= 9/10 Cup Shells (Broken)

1 Cup = 247 Moringa Seeds

1 Cup of Shelled Seeds

1 Cup Moringa Seeds produces about 1/3 Cup De-Shelled Seeds

1 Cup of Seeds after de-shelling

1 Cup Moringa Seeds = 156 Grams (Gross Weight)

Weight of Shelled Seeds

1 Cup of Undecorticated Moringa Seeds Reduced by 20 Grams After Decortication

Weight of de-shelled Seeds

These measurements gave us an indication of volume. While the mass of the seeds to shell ratio is about 4:1*, the volume measurements gave us a ratio of 1:3, respectively (1 cup of seeds produces 3 cups of shells)

*4 grams of seeds gives us 1 gram of shells

Average volume of Moringa Oleifera shells after chopping and grinding

We did this test to get an idea of the reduction in volume of the broken shells after the seeds has been extracted.

This was a hand process by using a piece of wood (slightly flexible, like a wooden spoon) and gently pressing on the seed shell until it cracked.

The rest of the process was using our fingers to manually strip away the shell pieces and extract the seed.

Results

4 x Cups of Broken Shells


= 1 2/3 Cups (After Chopping**)

Broken Moringa Shells before Grinding

Before Chopping

Broken Moringa Shells after Grinding

After Chopping

** We used a kitchen blender and the chopped pieces averaged between 0.5 mm and 2 mm.

Had we used something more powerful, like a coffee grinder, we would have achieved much smaller pieces - similar to ground coffee.

But the test did show us that we achieved about 60% reduction in volume. This information is important when considering transport, especially when using (or selling) the ground shells as a mulch and compost addition.

Moringa Shells can be used for Compost or Mulch

Perfect mulch for your garden. Add it directly to soils and dig it in or add it to your compost heap.

You can of course use the unground shells, but for it to be more effective, rather only add it to your compost heap and allow the shells to break down and soften naturally.

The steps to a sustainable investment

So far, without having to use any serious machinery other than a domestic chopper (which can be skipped out), we have:

  • broken shells for our compost heap or chopped shells as a mulch (either of which will be added back to the Moringa Oleifera tree's)
  • the de-shelled seeds which will be pressed to produce Moringa oil
  • the compressed cake (after oil expelling) can either be chopped/ground to produce a mulch or added directly to the compost heap for natural breakdown (again, this by-product will be added back to the Moringa tree's as a natural compost)

Depending on the market that you wish to sell to, growing and selling Moringa Oleifera offers several options :

Moringa Capsules

Capsules

Fresh (Young) Moringa Pods

Young Pods

Ground Moringa Leaves

Ground Leaves


Product - Ground Leaves

Ground leaves in capsule
form

Market

First world markets where consumers relate to the fact that vitamin supplements are supplied in capsule form

Ground leaves as a tea

Ground leaves as a plant
food

All markets

First world markets where consumers relate to the fact that plant food is necessary for their domestic flowers and gardens

Ground leaves as a
food supplement

(Great malnutrition article from BBC Click Here)

Mostly undeveloped markets with high rates of malnutrition (countries that use low nutrition crops, such as maize, as their staple foods)


Product - Dried Leaves

Dried leaves as animal
fodder

Market

All markets close to the source of growing. Food for animals, such as cows as it increases weight and milk production (As the product is bulky, it will be expensive to transport)


Product - Fresh Leaves

Fresh leaves for human
consumption

Market

To keep freshness, the market needs to be close to the source of growing. Ideally, the fresh leaves should be harvested and consumed the same day


Product - Fresh Pods and Seeds

Fresh pods for human
consumption

Market

Fresh pods will keep good condition for about a week, if kept cool and clean. Depending on the eating habits of this market, it could be anywhere in the world. Cost of transport would be an issue if Moringa is grown in this target market, such as India, where production and consumption is high

Tinned pods for human
consumption

Anywhere in the world. Canning facilities needs to be considered as well as cost of transport, especially if Moringa is grown in the target market


Product - Matured Seeds

Oil as a lubricant

Market

All over the world. Moringa oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural lubricant

Oil as a cosmetic

First world countries where it is used in many types of cosmetics

Pressed cake after oil
extraction

Local market where the cake is used in composts and mulches


And the really good news

By the time you are finished with all of the above, you next crop will be ready for harvest.

If you are harvesting leaves, you can get 4 to 6 crops per year.

If you are harvesting fresh (immature) pods, you can get 1 to 2 harvests per year.

If you are harvesting mature pods, you will get 1 crop per year.

Invest in Moringa Oleifera

Moringa Oleifera is a Sustainable Investment

While the likes of Monsanto produce genetically modified foods, only for the sake of profit, we are investing in Moringa Oleifera for the sake of future generations that can invest in sustainable resources.

Monsanto's Exploitation of the Poor

Moringa Oleifera was used thousands of years ago by ancients cultures like the Egyptians and Romans and its reputation is as good now as it was then.

GM Food companies have only been around for a few decades and already they are dealing with protests, demonstrations, lawsuits and injury.

This article from Permaculture UK reinforces Moringa Oleifera as part of a strategic line of defence in, amongst other benefits, combating nutrient deficiency throughout the world. One of the reasons why you will not find fresh leaves in your local store is because fresh leaves do not store well. All the better to grow your own.

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Comments from Other Visitors

Click the underlined and highlighted text to read the full article.

Moringa Benefits 
Pure Moringa Seed Oil (cold pressed) is a light oil that spreads and absorbs easily into the skin. Vitamins A, B, C, E, unsaturated fatty acids and palmitoleic, …

Moringa Advantages 
Moringa oil (also known as ben oil or behen oil) is known as such because it contains behenic acid (a saturated fat that is moisturising for skin and hair) …

Moringa Ideas and Uses 
Moringa oil is a cosmetic carrier oil that is normally extracted through the cold pressed method from seed. It is very nutritious for skin and is a good …

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