By Ben and Lucy Laflin. Handed down to Ben Jr. and his wife, Pat, both graduates of the University of California at Berkeley. Ben Jr., with a Masters in Plant Pathology, had become renowned as one of a select few of the world's most knowledgeable palm plant pathologists and consultants on date palms from California to the Middle East and Africa. Pat Laflin had taken Oasis Date Gardens from a domestic farming operation to a worldwide marketer of premium quality dates. Ben and Pat have since retired.
The Laflins initially planted several date varieties, including the deglet noor. In the mid-1940s, though, they found the date that would become their primary product: the medjool. The plump, rich "Cadillac of dates", the medjool is native to Morocco, but the medjool trees there were almost eradicated by disease in the early 1900s. In 1927, Walter Swingle, a horticulturist with the USDA, came upon the last stand of healthy medjool palms in the Sahara and, with the blessing of the head sheik of the area, shipped 11 of their offshoots to America. They underwent quarantine and propagation, and 15 years later Laflin received one of the first allotments. The offshoots thrived in this soil, and when he sampled the fruit six years later, the luscious flavor and texture hooked him immediately. Ben’s favorite line was "A well-kept date garden is a majestic sight."
Oasis Date Gardens was acquired in 1997, by the Nielsen and Freimuth families who specialized in the growing of Organically Certified Medjool Dates for 15 years.
Today, Oasis Date Gardens is a 175-acre producing date ranch, home of the superb Medjool Date and many other interesting and delicious date varieties. Oasis Date Gardens was purchased by Woodspur Farms in 2014.
Woodspur Farms, LLC is the largest, integrated organic date farming operation in the U.S. in acreage and in volume. Woodspur Farms owns and operates farms that span from California’s Coachella Valley to the sun-soaked ranches of Yuma County, AZ with two facilities for packing, storing and transporting the fruit. Woodspur Farms grows Medjool, Deglet, Zahidi, Honey and other exotic organic dates.
Operational infrastructure is in place for selling to retail, direct to consumer through its Oasis Date Gardens store and mail order businesses and ingredients to food manufacturers. Woodspur Farms ingredients division sells date paste; diced dates, date pieces, date syrup (date juice concentrate); and date powder (often referred to as date sugar).
We combine ancient wisdom and modern technology to grow outstanding dates. We thin our ranches regularly, because more space between trees means more sunlight and more efficient water usage. The results are stunning:
• Larger, fleshier and sweeter fruit
• Abundant crops each and every year
• Reduced need for water and fertilizer
For more information please visit Woodspur Farms website www.woodspurfarms.com