Well, yes, it was muddy at the ranch this weekend and ANOTHER STORM is forecast for this coming weekend, too! ARGH! So, hubby and I are driving up there tomorrow after school. In the meantime, I thought I'd post these photos from last week's drive through the date groves in Indio. Can you see the ladders at the top of the date palms? That's so the workers can climb to the top of them to harvest the dates. Have you ever eaten a date? I used to HATE THEM! I could ONLY eat them in a date shake, but then my cousin, Valerie, introduced me to date bits, which are pieces of dates. Now I buy them all the time and sprinkle them on my cereal! I also frequently buy dates and munch on them! One little date has a LOT of nutritional value! The people of the Middle East have consumed dates, as a part of their diet, since centuries, mainly owing to its high nutritional value. Apart from being rich in natural fibers, dates also comprise of a lot of other nutrients, like oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, magnesium, etc. In fact, it is said that one date is a minimum of a balanced and healthy diet. I used to occasionally give Sunni dates (without the pit) and he loved them! They aren't cheap, in fact, organic ones can be quite expensive, but I figure...hey...they're ORGANIC! I used to walk down to our local college and pick up the ones that fell on the ground around harvest time (but they sprayed theirs with pesticides) when the kids were small, but their date palms have been removed for a parking lot! There are still a lot of date groves in Indio, but now I notice the farmers are planting further down the valley, toward the Salton Sea as some of the Indio groves are being removed to make way for housing deelopments. Ahhh...progress!