The Deglet Noor, along with the Medjul are by far and away the most consumed dates in the Untied States together making up over 90% of the dates produced in the United States. While the Medjul is popular as a whole date, the Deglet is used primarily in cooking and other applications where it is chopped up. This is not to say that the Deglet is not a good date to eat whole, far from it, but it goes to show the versatility of the Deglet Noor.
Every year we get multiple groups of buses coming to the ranch to purchase dates. This is a brief look at what goes on during one of those days.
What does snowfall in Colorado have to do with water in the desert? Plenty. Once the snow melts it finds its way into the Colorado river which then meanders on down through Colorado, through the Grand Canyon, along the border of California and Arizona, and if not diverted during the trip down into Mexico. However along the trip there are many areas where the water can be diverted into a canal and then into a pipe and where a nice Zanjero will send it through a meter and into your field. This water has made a long journey and now its being used to water the best fruit ever: DATES.
The Medjul (Medjool) has earned the reputation of being "King of the Dates". It gets this title for two reasons. The first is that it is the most popular date in the US, when most people think of dates they usually are thinking of the Medjul. The second reason is that when it comes to size it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest date in the world.
Now that Pollination is complete, the flowers have turned to dates, now it is time to thin the fruit. Thinning is the act of reducing the number of dates on the tree to promote both larger dates, and a more uniform ripening of the fruit. Thinning also helps reduce the number of bunches, reducing the chances that the bunches will break due to excessive weight, and this also helps the tree produce bunches the following year. Thinning is usually performed in April and May when the dates are about the size of a pea.
It is March and that means that pollination is in full swing. Because date trees are dioecious, meaning that male trees produce the pollen and female trees produce the fruit, pollen must be added to the female trees in order to produce dates. Last month we talked about gathering the pollen from the male trees, and now that the female trees are ready it is time to take that pollen that we have gathered, and put it on the newly opened bunches of the female tree.
The Zahidi, is the Rodney Dangerfield of the date world, it gets "no respect". In Iraq where it is originally from the Zahidi is grown in such great quantities, and it is so inexpensive to harvest that it considered a date for poor people or goat food. This factoid was passed onto me by a customer who after sampling a Zahidi, and said he liked it an wanted to know what variety it was, upon hearing that it was a Zahadi promptly spit it out and threw the remainder of the date away.
Sadly this is not an isolated incident and sometimes the Zahidi does not get the respect of the farmers who grow them. Usually the Zahidi is the last to be bagged in the summer, and sometimes if the farmers are behind, they won't bother bagging them. There have been attempts over the year to rebrand the Zahidi, some have even gone so far as to try and change the name when selling them, These attempts however have ended in failure.
To purchase Yellow Barhi via mail order please click below, current price $3.50 per pound.
We will start to take online orders around August 15.
When most people think about dates, they tend to think of the more popular varieties such as the Medjul (Medjool), or Deglet Noor. The first date that comes to mind for me however is the Barhi. The Barhi is a very soft date, that is oval in shape, and extremely sweet.This little known date is starting to make a name for itself, each year more Barhi dates are sold than the year before. Its success can be attributed to a unique trait that most dates don't have, the Barhi is edible in three different stages of development, where most dates are only edible in one.