Thursday, March 24, 2016

Coachella Valley. Where's That?

So a few weeks ago I went out to the Coachella Valley.  Where's that, you ask? Well I was there last June.  In fact I showed this overlook as we came over the mountains to the valley and the cities of Coachella and Indio...California.  It is Northeast of San Diego.  And I was accompanied by Field Agronomist JW and Sales Account Manager Carlos.  Ready for work, so off we go down the mountain into the valley.
The Coachella Valley is one of those places that seems to grow everything good.  Bell Peppers (below), carrots, citrus, grapes (featured last June), okra, onions and lots more fruits and vegetables.  Well we are new to the valley, and now have a top notch Retail Partner, Foster Gardner.  But being new it is necessary to get some trial work.  Like on this Bell Pepper field where Kalibrate will have a test vs KTS (potassium thio sulfate).  Hardly fair, but necessary.  It will run through the drip tape under the plastic.

Of course there is the customary discussion by the pick ups of all committed parties.  The grower, retail partners, SAM and Agronomist.  And the research guy too.  Convinced that it is a good option for using AgroLiquid, the layout is mapped and applications determined.  Hey test layout is what I'm good at, so of course it will work.
 But during this conversation, an old Hagie sprayer came to the edge of the field to fill up with water for some spray operation.  Recalling all the hours I spent in a similar machine at the NCRS, back when I used to do real research work, I became nostalgic.  I was pretty close to going over and asking if I could take it for a spin.  
 Well after that we were off to another place when we happened by Shields Date Garden in Indio.  
 So of course we had to stop once I saw this sign on the side of the building.  I was certainly anxious to see what was going on in this movie about someone's date.
Oh.  It was about the dates that grow on trees.  Well that was still a pretty exciting movie.  Did you know that over 90% of the nation's dates are grown in the Coachella Valley?  Well now you do.  But how many of you have actually eaten a date?  They are quite tasty.  Very sweet.  There are lots of different kinds.  But the most famous is the Royal Medjool.  And look.  They have a big table where you can sample all you want.   
You didn't have to drag JW to the sampling.  You did have to drag him away though.  But he did do the right thing and bought quite a few to take home.  Well if they made it home, that is.
This was a cool place with a Date Garden behind the store.  All of these are date trees.  A lot of the cultivated date trees are shorter with the dates closer to the ground and easier to harvest.  (See last June post for date orchards.)  There were also Orange trees there, and they were in bloom.  It smelled so good.  I don't know if you have ever smelled orange blossoms, but it is definitely a top five scent.  It was a very beautiful walk along the garden trail.
One feature of the Date Garden was depictions of the life of Jesus with various statues of different events.  Here is one where he is gathering Apostles.  Well look under the palm trees across the pond and you will see what is being recognized tomorrow, Good Friday.  So it was pretty cool seeing this in a realistic desert setting among the palms.  Last Sunday was Palm Sunday and all.
So the area is a great place to develop AgroLiquid sales, and a nice place to visit besides.  Enjoy your Easter celebration.  More CA adventures to come.