Learn about date palms…
Years ago Bob and Sean took a semester class about date palms that they still refer back to regularly. I have written about our date palms before on the blog (you can find that piece here). Date palms have an interesting history and are plentiful in the valley. Bob and Sean have made the most of that class by knowing how to pollinate, harvest and care for the trees themselves. You don’t have to have a farm, though, to take care of your date palms and to enjoy their wonderful fruit.
ASU has a Date Palm Germplasm grove on their Polytechnic campus in Mesa that started collecting rare varieties of date palms over 20 years ago and is one of only four date palm germplasm collections in the U.S. Germplasm is the living tissue from which new plants can be grown. To date there are more than 65 date palms on the ASU campus in Tempe and 138 date palms from more than 40 varieties at the Polytechnic campus. ASU harvests the dates and sells them at the ASU Farmers Market and at their campus bookstore.
The ASU Arboretum is offering outreaches classes free to the public on date palms. If you have backyard date palms, these classes would be good information on how to harvest the dates, how to care for the palms throughout the year, and how to remove offshoots and propagate new palms. They will have date palm experts on hand, and a special guest speaker Arthur Futterman from Futterman Farms in Indio, CA, who has worked with these trees since the 1970s. James Badman, brother of FnB’s Charleen Badman, is also an instructor.
The classes are free this year and attendees will be given date palm offshoots. The classes offered include:
Pollination and harvest – 9:00am, March 30th by Arthur Futterman
Tools and Offshoots – 8:00am, April 13th by James Badman
Tools and Offshoots – 8:00am, April 27th by Arthur Futterman
The classes will be held at the ASU Polytechnic Campus at 7127 E. Upton Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85212. To sign up for the workshops, click here or call 480.268.4165.