We do try to have a “play day” with our friends Dave and Marilyn, that live in Yuma, and see various sites in the area. Dave was trying to find something new to show us, but we got off track and ended up at the Imperial Date Gardens, in Bard, California. Little did he know this was actually a place that I wanted to see. I love dates, Dan, not so much.
The place does offer tours, but since we just happened upon the place, it was not on a tour day. No one was at the place, but one of the workers took the time to come outside and talk about the date palm trees. In a very short time, I learned more about dates and palm trees than I thought possible! It was very interesting, and growing/harvesting dates is a very labor intensive process. Imperial Date Gardens specializes in the Medjool Date, because, as the manager honestly pointed out, it has the highest profit margin! They also taste great. To buy them right at the plant, was very cheap. I was able to get a pound of extra fancy medjool dates for $5.75. I should have bought more, as they are double and triple that price in the local stores.
The “male” date palm trees and the “female” date palm trees are carefully populated (I think that was the term he used), and they create little offshoots.
The male trees and female trees are kept in different areas. If you stare at the two pictures long enough, you will see the difference between the sex of the tree. Once a month, they flood the fields to provide water for the tree. The harvest starts in August, and can go as late as October.
Because Yuma has over 300 days of sunshine a year, it is a major agricultural area. Acres upon acres of produce is grown here, and sold throughout the United States. It is interesting driving around the Yuma area to see the lush green fields surrounded by desert brown roads. If you check the origin of your winter produce, much of it will come from this area.
Dave has noticed this white buildings all over the country. We spotted one in the Yuma area. We have no idea what it is, other than a government facility of some sort. We tried to get closer, but there was enough Warning: No Trespassing signs to keep us away. It is surrounded by acres of romaine lettuce fields. If you know what this if, let me know.
Sometimes it’s okay to just wander and get lost. You never know what you will find.
Quote for the day: “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” – Lawrence Block