When the first Polynesians landed and settled in Hawaiʻi (about 1000 and 1200 AD (Kirch) they brought with them shoots, roots, cuttings and seeds of various plants for food, cordage, medicine, fabric, containers, all of life’s vital needs. “Canoe crops” (Canoe Plants) is a term to describe the group of plants brought to Hawaiʻi by these early Polynesians. One of these was ‘niu,’ the coconut; they used it for food, cordage, etc.
Hawai‘i is on the edge of the coconut belt. The coconut bears better nearer the equator, where it is more widely used than here. In Hawai`i there are other plants, native and introduced, that provide as well for people’s needs. The tree bears fruit around the seventh birthday, for up to 70-100 years, providing food for a human lifetime. There may be up to 50 fruit a year.