In today's world coconuts are always available. When you choose one be sure that its heavy for its size you should hear the sound of liquid when you shake it. If the eyes on the coconut are damp don't buy them.
Coconuts can be stored at room temperature for 6-8 months depending on how fresh it was when you purchased it. If your going to grate coconut for a recipe make sure that you place the coconut in the freezer for 30-45 minutes and this will harden it so it can be grated easily.
Coconut Separation Problems
To easily separate the outer shell of a coconut from the inner meat just bake the coconut for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees and then tap the coconut with a hammer. It seemed like a miracle didn't it.
The coconut milk can be removed first by piercing two of the three eyes with a ice pick. One hole will allow air in and the milk will come out the other. Fresh coconut milk is very good in homemade curries.