Thursday, June 28, 2007

Today's Random Topic: Date Palm Trees


I frequently receive e-mails from readers asking about the palm trees in Palm Springs. I don't think of them much, since they are just part of our landscape. We have a row of palm trees along our property, and also several that regally frame the courtyard in the front of the house. But there are many varieties of palm trees. The Coachella Valley is known for Date Palm Trees which produce delicious dates. Even if you are under 70 years old, you may be surprised to know how delicious and healthy dates can be. Most dates contain no sodium or cholesterol, are a good source of fiber and are low in in calories.

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Dates were first introduced in the Coachella Valley in the 18th century by Spanish missionaries. However dates are the oldest tree crop cultivated, dating back 5,000 years when dates were considered a good source of nutrition to sustain desert people throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Dates are also considered a delicacy and served by European Royalty and Sultans in many countries. I know they look gross, but don't be grossed out, really.
So how do they grow, you ask? Well, in my commitment to provide interesting information on this blog, I visited a date farm where I saw thousands of Date Palm Trees with young dates ripening on the tree.
Above: The trees are planted to allow for workers to work between the trees for harvesting.

Above: close up of the dates (still green) that grow and ripen on the tree.
Above: Shield's Date Farm in Indio is a local favorite for dates. They even grow and sell organic dates! (this is not a paid promo, I just wanted to mention where you can buy some delicious dates grown right here in the Coachella Valley).
-Rick Rockhill

14 comments:

bunnygirl said...

Dates are soooo yummy! I wish you hadn't reminded me.

Dan said...

So how do they grow, you ask?

Actually that wasn't the first question that popped into my head. The first question was -- how can I get this blogger dude to send me a bunch for free?

Mone said...

I love those pictures! I love those pictures! I love those pictures!
Wish I was there :(

Anonymous said...

those palm trees are so beautiful wish we had some where I live.

Lewis said...

Yummy! Stuffed with cream cheese or bacon wrapped and baked.

~d said...

Palm trees, huh. Would you believe I don't even KNOW if we have palm trees or not. We are balmy. Which sounds like palm...(smile)

Blue the Spa Girl said...

I adore palm trees. In the Bahamas we were introduced to the Royal Palms, they look like they have concrete trunks.
Your date palms are taller I think!

Anonymous said...

My Mother always stuffed the dates and dried figs with walnuts at Christmas...yumm!!!! It's an Italian holiday tradition in my family. From, Doug in Lil Rhody (The Providence Savant...lol).

Bettina said...

I love dates and have almost forgotten about how good they are. I'm thinking about adding them to my list of obsessions.

jaclyn said...

These dates look soooo delicious!!! I like them stuffed with marzipan and walnuts

Naomi said...

I love palm trees. I grew up in the countryside and love trees in general. They remind me of my childhood. I suppose it's like most things, when you live amongst palm trees and see them every day, you take them for granted. I love dates. The ones in the photo look yummy. We tend to eat them here mainly at Christmas time. I didn't realise they had date farms in Palm Springs. That's interesting.

WrenaissanceWoman said...

Very interesting post on date palms - as this month's host of Festival of the Trees, I've linked to the post in the latest edition (http://www.wrenaissance.com/blog/2007/06/iatb52-best-laid-plans.html)

While your blog doesn't focus primarily on trees, I thought you'd want to know about the link, and you might enjoy taking a look at some of the other contributions.

Anonymous said...

where is that date farm that everyone is talking about?

Eating The Road said...

Nice post. I love Shield's!
http://eatingtheroad.wordpress.com/2009/10/26/shields-date-garden/

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