History of Dates
Since before the existence of Man over 50,000 years ago – Date palms and their fruit have been instrumental to humans. The Mesopotamians recognized the tree’s versatility and value; its sweet fruit became an essential part of their diet. The palm offered “three hundred and sixty” uses including needles, thread, lumber, mattresses, rope, baskets and other household items; as well as food and beverage.
DATE PALM HISTORY
Date palms were one of the first plants cultivated by man. The first written records of date palms being grown and harvested are from about 5000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia (current day Iraq) along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
FEET IN WATER, HEAD IN FIRE
Date palms are said to thrive with their “feet in water and heads in the sun” because they need plenty of ground water to drink, but high heat and arid weather to produce fruit.
GROWING AND HARVESTING DATES
Commercially grown date palms are from offshoots to ensure desired dates variety qualities. The scientific name, Phoenix dactylifera, refers to feather palms that may grow more than 100 feet and live more than 200 years.