Okay, continuing the coconut series, How can I break a fresh green coconut without wasting much of it, without using a knife?
Coconut opening comes in two parts, neither of which needs a knife.
First, the husk. Get a reasonably sturdy pointed stick and put it in the ground, point up, between your feet. Jam the coconut down onto the stick, hitting off centre. This should wedge off bits of husk. Repeat until the husk is all off. A very green coconut is harder to "peel" this way, but without a knife, this is basically the option you have.
If getting all the liquid out is important, and you have no bowl or bucket, pause here, find a stick or stone, and poke at the eyes until you break through one or two of them, and drink the liquid through the hole. A hollow piece of grass or reed might make a useful straw.
Once you have exposed the inner coconut, find the three "eyes" on it. Hold the coconut so that it vaguely looks like a face - the three circles on a side of it, two above one. Hit it hard with a stick or a rock on the "top of its head" and it should break in half. You can now continue to break it up to separate shell from meat, or you can scrape out juicy meat with your same pointed stick and eat it as you go.
This is a slightly different approach than Kate's but this is how we used to do it when I was a kid.
Requirements: 1 coconut, 2 heavy objects (large rocks work well but you have to be able to pick them up. A cinder block probably works but I've never tried with one), one with a flat side to it (not necessary if you're not doing this in sand/dirt - if there's a concrete pad or something nearby just use that)
- Balance the coconut on the flat surface with the stem side facing downward.
- Pick up heavy object, raise it over your head, drop it on the pointy side of the coconut
- Repeat. After three or four times the husk should have split down the ridges of the coconut. This also has the added benefit of loosening the husk to make it easier to remove.
- Remove the husk, you should be able to just rip it off with just a little effort
- If you want the liquid you can use Kate's method (bore through one of the "face" holes. Kate suggests the eyes but we always went through the "mouth". I suspect it makes little difference).
- To crack the inside open and get at the meat of the coconut, simply rap the coconut against one of the objects from earlier, while continually rotating the coconut. The shell should crack after about 30 seconds of this.