Bard Valley lies along a beautiful, sun-lit corner of the Southwest, its palm date gardens watered by the Lower Colorado River as it makes its way to the Gulf of California. It was here, among the gardens lovingly cultivated by our growers, that the Medjool date achieved its truest perfection.
Only the world's finest Medjools carry the Bard Valley Natural Delights label, thanks to the unique micro-climate in the Bard Valley. Warmed by the ever present sun, nourished by the high water table and proximity to the Colorado River, there is no better place in the world to grow this timeless delicacy.
More than 12 times every year, our date growers scale the massive trees in their stately date gardens. From pollinating to harvesting to packing, every part of the growing process, and every individual Medjool, is treated with the love this delicacy deserves. And to preserve their natural goodness, Medjool dates are never treated with pesticides or preservatives. After all, why mess with perfection?
Using large curved knives, our growers take between 800 to 1,600 thorns off of each date palm.
The offshoots are taken off the mother palm tree, nurtured in our nursery, and then planted to create a new date garden. And the cycle of Perfect continues.
One male palm can pollinate 48-50 female trees. To grow the world’s finest Natural Delights Medjool Dates, it is essential to pollinate each flower bunch evenly. Our growers take great care to apply pollen evenly on all sides.
Flower bunches are thinned, giving each budding Natural Delights Medjool Date adequate room to grow and proper ventilation.
Bunches are tied and secured firmly to the trees to prevent damage from wind and weight, and to allow for spacing and ventilation.
Rings are placed at the center of each bunch to allow continued ventilation.
As the fruit ripens, sacks are tied firmly around each bunch to prevent birds from picking at the fruit and to keep the dates from falling to the ground.
The dates are picked as they mature. Workers must go up into the towering trees multiple times over the harvest season, each time only picking out the Medjools that are tree-ripe, and re-bagging the bunches to allow the remaining fruit to ripen.
Perfection demands precision. That’s why our growers carefully sort and grade each individual Natural Delights Medjool Date, first by hand, then by machine to ensure that every Natural Delights Medjool Date lives up to its name.
Natural Delights Medjool Dates are packed in a variety of sizes so you can choose what’s right for you.
Perfectly cultivated, hand-selected Natural Delights Medjool Dates make their way to stores near you.
Perfectly snackable and perfect for a variety of recipes, there’s more than one way to enjoy the perfect Medjool date. Visit "Cooking with Perfect" for a variety of Medjool Date recipes using Natural Delights Medjool Dates.
What really makes Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjools so special is the care lavished on them by our growers. Each of our growers is as unique and distinctive as the Medjool itself. Click on the photos below to meet the men and women responsible for nurturing nature's perfect treat.
The very definition of an American success story, Isabel Nuñez came to Bard Valley in 1958 to work for a pioneer Medjool grower. His love for this fascinating crop spurred him to start his own ranch. Four decades later, Isabel still tends to his date gardens with the same passion and energy, assisted now by his three children and grandson. The Nuñez family's dedication to growing perfect Medjools has borne fruit, as Imperial Date Gardens is now the largest Medjool producer in Bard Valley.
Combining their impressive farming and business acumen, Jim Freimuth and Chris Nielsen founded Winterhaven Ranches in 1983. Embracing organic technologies early on, Winterhaven Ranches became a certified organic grower under California's Organic Code in 1989. Winterhaven Ranches and their subsidiary, the historic Oasis Date Gardens, produce approximately two million pounds of the highest quality USDA Certified Organic Medjool dates every year.
The historic Royal Medjool Date Ranch was purchased in 1968 by the Shadle, Choules and Keddie families. The ranch is the oldest of the large date growing operations in the Bard Valley and has the distinction of being the site where the first ever vertical lifts and sorting tables were built. More recently, Royal Medjool capitalized on its success by adding two more farms to the family: Sun Gardens and Southwestern Date. Sun Gardens hosts the original six Medjool date trees brought to the Bard Valley from Morocco in 1944. Ranch managers Steve McCollum and Ron Hill each bring a lifetime of farming experience to these diverse operations, which are distinguished by their high fruit yields and their delicious coconut and almond date rolls.
Dave Nelson embodies the character of a dedicated farmer. His passion for Medjool dates, the soil, and the purity of the farming life run deep, going back to his teen years working at a Bard Valley date ranch. In 1975, using his car as collateral, Dave and his brothers scraped together a down payment for their own date grove. Realizing the power of teamwork, the Nelson Brothers would become founding members of the first Bard Valley growers association.
Owned and operated by the Jessen family, Bard Date Company combine a respect for tradition with a passion for innovation. Taking advantage of the Bard Valley micro-climate extending some 40 miles south along the Colorado River, the Jessens partnered with the Bustamante family, adding over 200 acres of Medjool palms to their stable. This innovative approach to crop development resulted in a year-over-year increase in Medjools, allowing more consumers than ever to experience this uniquely perfect fruit.
Among the budding offshoots of his date palm nursery, Glen Vandervoort is a man truly in his element. Love for his trees and the environment that sustains them is part of everything Glen does. Vandervoort Ranches leads the way in eco-friendly agriculture, from returning ground-up waste to the soil rather than burning, to insisting on biodegradable cultivation materials, to minimizing agrichemical use.