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10 Facts You Did Not Know About Dates

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Fresh California Dates

10) Did you know that the Date is considered to be the oldest known tree crop known to be cultivated? It's said that date harvesting dates as far back 6,000 years and fossil records indicate they are over a million years old.

9) Their is more then 500 varieties of dates. The Medjool being the most popular, known as the "crown jewel" and "king of dates". 

8) Dates are self-preserving with a uncanny long-life compared to other fruits. A mature date can last for months and still be edible. Try that with any other fruit.

7) Dates contain 3 X more potassium then the popular more highly promoted Banana. Pound for pound the date packs a potassium punch.

6) A mature Medjool date tree can yield up to 200 pounds of dates. An average number of fruit arms on a mature tree is 16-21 fruit arms. Smaller trees yield less dates.

5) Dates contain no sodium, cholesterol or fat. Crazy right? To think that such a fruit does not at least have one of these attributes is truly amazing.

4) Medjool palms are male and female. And only the female will bear fruit with the male only producing pollen to fertilize the female. The old way of fertilizing the female was hopefully enough wind. Nowadays farmers will give mother nature a little boost and artificial pollination by collecting it manually from the male and sprucing up the female. The general rule of thumb for farmers is one male for every 49 females....lucky stud.

3) Medjool palms are "Hot Heads". Meaning they like a dry hot climate up top, but need just as much water as a willow tree at the base or roots to flourish.

2) Palm trees continue their lineage through what are called "off-shoots". These are small baby like palms that grow at the base. Growers will use these off-shoots to start new date gardens. These baby palms on average will weigh between 25 - 100 pounds when they are transplanted.

1) Medjool Dates were on the brink of extinction. In 1927 Morocco was dealing with severe disease in their crops. They turned to a United States Botanist by the name of Walter Swingle who rescued eleven disease free offshoots and transplanted them along the Colorado river. All the Medjool date palms you see now are descendants from those 11 off shoots Swingle saved.


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