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Certified Farmers Market - Dates by Davall Order Online PDF Print E-mail

Dates by Davall (They joined us on August 16, 2006)

Looking to purchase Davall Dates. NOW accepting online orders.

 

1lb Davall Dates Varieties Available
5lb Davall Dates Varieties Available
11lb Davall Dates Varieties Available

Way back in 1912 the USDA was promoting date production in the ideal date growing area of the Coachella Valley. They provided free date seeds to anyone wishing to obtain some land and plant date trees. Date seedlings, imported from the Middle East, were also available; but at a cost of $25 apiece, so pioneers like Everett Davall took the free seeds and began planting.
Everett, great-great uncle of David and Everett Davall who sell dates in Santa Monica and other area farmers’ markets, had worked his way West from the family dairy farm in Pennsylvania. He was in California in 1905 when the Colorado River flooded, as it did from time to time, putting a large section of the Imperial Valley temporarily under water. Everett bought some of that land, and after the water receded he raised hogs and planted a few date palms. He was on that land in 1906 when he felt the tremors of the great San Francisco earthquake. In 1912, Everett purchased a half-section of land from the railroad in what is now Rancho Mirage for $7.50 per acre, took 250 date seeds of unknown varieties from the Government, and put them in the ground.
Date palms take five years to produce shoots, which are used for propagation of new trees. One tree will send out five or six shoots, and date production on a new tree takes seven years. Of the 250 seeds and innumerable varieties they produced, Everett sampled and culled the dates until he settled on just three types that he liked. He named one variety “Honey” for its texture and taste; one he named “Empress” for its many outstanding qualities and the third he called “TR,” for “Third Row.” Everett, who never married, and his brothers sold the last of their original property in 1972 and purchased sixty acres in Thermal, where they planted a whole new orchard from their own trees’ offshoots. To this day, the Davalls are the only producers of Everett’s three favorite date varieties.
Everett and David sell dates directly descended from their Uncle Everett’s original plantings at markets and to wholesale accounts, and cousin Vince runs the USDA date experimental station in Oasis. Probably the best-known date stop out that way, Hadley’s – home of the fabulous date shake – has been purchased by the Morongo Indian tribe. As instant neighborhoods move out into the date-growing areas, dust has become an annoyance to new home owners, so the Air Quality Management District which used to be nowhere in sight, now mandates that the dust be kept down, and is advising farmers to either pave or water their orchards. Dave Davall, who grows dates on his 60 acres of the family homestead, has put down gravel. How do you keep dust down in the desert?
For the time being, the Davall cousins plan to keep their date orchards, though land values are skyrocketing. David has watched the grapes, the vegetables, and most recently the carrots disappear from the Coachella Valley as golf courses and subdivisions move in. He has thought about the future of his orchard, which his uncle started from seeds and which took forty years to become fully established. He says he read somewhere that farms have a 30 percent chance of being passed along to a second generation, and only a 3 percent chance of being passed along to a third. If you see food as a way of life, like Anthony and Victor and Everett do (and did) then the news about houses and golf courses in Indio will make you a little uneasy, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:26
 
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