Wednesday, April 13, 2011
How 'bout a date??
I have a new appreciation for dates!! We recently toured Shield's Date Garden near Palm Springs, CA. www.shieldsdategarden.com They have about 17 varieties of dates to sample. Yum! There is a video where the story of dates is told. Many man-hours go into date production. The 40 feet or higher trees must be climbed (ladders are permanently attached to some trees)to be hand pollinated. As the fruit begins to grow on the trees, they must be climbed again, thinned (to improve quality and size of dates)and covered with bags to protect the fruit. When the fruit is ready to pick, it does not all ripen at the same time, so the trees must be climbed and reclimbed many times. A single tree can produce 100 pounds or more per year, and may bear for a hundred years. I'll be making date bars soon and will share the recipe!