History of the Medjool Dates
Medjool Dates are a rare epicurean treat that truly
reflects the results of pampered care. These dates come from palms that
are not grown from seeds but from offshoots, which are suckers growing
at the base of the mother palm. These offshoots are chosen because they
produce trees that will bear fruit superior in size and quality to
those grown from seeds. When the offshoot has established its own root
system it is removed from the tree and carefully planted. It takes ten
years of devoted care before the palms reach full production, which is
about two hundred pounds per tree per year.
The original Medjools in this country were imported from French
Morocco in 1927 by the United States Department of Agriculture. To be
sure that they harbored no disease the palms were isolated in Nevada.
Finally, in 1948 some of the offshoots were planted in the Bard Valley
across the river from Yuma, Arizona.
The Bard and Yuma area where the finest and largest quantities
of Medjools are grown is situated along the Colorado River. Frequent
floods, prior to the building of the dams on the river; have built up a
superb soil. This coupled with organic fertilizers and an excellent
climate has made this the Medjool center of the world.
Each palm must be climbed approximately eighteen times a year
to carry out the many hand operations which include pollination,
thinning the bunches, separating the strands of fruit with wire rings
to promote better air circulation and finally protecting the bunches
with cotton sacks about one month before the selective picking in
special cotton baskets. The fruit is then taken to a packing shed where
it is hand graded and carefully packed - thus retaining its natural
flavor. A Medjool Date is delightful to eat and excellent for cooking.
If you are interested in learning more about the Medjool Date,
Marc E. Paulsen wrote an excellent book concerning the history and the
care of the Medjool. The name of the book is "The Amazing Story of The
Fabulous Medjool Date". This book can be purchased on this site under
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