Friday: Signs of summer

19 May, '06

green dates

Signs of summer, originally uploaded by malyousif.

All palm trees are heavily pregnant all around Bahrain, and as it looks like this summer is going to be a real scorcher, then the date crop would be early and plentiful.

Have a wonderful Friday all!

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Comments (19)

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  1. spanky6 says:

    its not pregnent, its pregnant. tututututututututut, Mahmood.

  2. mahmood says:

    thanks spanky6, fixed!

  3. skribe says:

    Does Bahrain produce good dates? I’ve only had Turkish (I think), Saudi and Iranian dates and strangely my preference is for the dried Iranian ones. They’re like caramel toffee.

  4. somebody should notify the Parliament about this.. trees getting heavily pregnant? i’m not pleased with the thought of Muslim BAHRAINI palm trees getting knocked up so easily.. There needs to be some getting to know each other first, a dinner or two, maybe a little role playing… amateur garderners these days,, sheesh,, give them a shovel and some dirt and they think they can play god..

    you owe me a cerveza..

  5. I miss palm trees.

  6. mahmood says:

    BahrainiRants, you know where the house is!

    Hasan, when are you coming home again?

  7. mahmood says:

    Skribe, yes we do, but I am not aware of any being exported. Bahrain USED to be called the Land of the Million Palms, now we have succumbed to importing them from Saudi, and that is government sanctioned as well.

    It is still illegal to cut down palms, but there are various tricks landlords resort to to kill them off: bribing people to go in the middle of the night and pour used engine oil around their bases, poison them, cut off water (though that can take up to a year or more to kill off a palm, it is a very forgiving tree) or simply pour gasoline around them and burn them. The reason? The land they are on is worth a lot more than a single tree can produce in crop. So get rid of them, and you could instantly become a millionaire!

    We have literally hundreds of types of date, probably the most famous are the Ghurra, Khunaizi, Khasayib Usfoor, Khowaja, Khlaass, Hallaya and various others, I can’t recall them all obviously and not am I an expert by any means. I get a local “Kharraf” to come tend to them every 6 months or so, and then maybe 2 or 3 times during their production season. They charge about BD5 per tree per visit, so it can mount up, but when they clean the palm and tidy it up, it looks absolutely gorgeous. There are two types of tree which always evoke an emotion in me: the palm and the weaping willow. I prefer the palm however, as just looking at one when I come out of the airport signals my real home-coming.

    I don’t think that Bahraini palm groves produce “tamur” that’s the stuff you’re use to, we tend to get all dates fresh. However I am sure that there is a limited supply. The most sought after however is definitely the “Hasawi” dates and tamur, and those come even more varied than Bahrain, and they have vast factories to produce them, package and export them.

    Bahrain, ironically, created a automatically! No idea what the status of that project at the moment though. Here’s a more up to date research about date palm cultivation in Bahrain by ICARDA. Some even say that the date palm originated in Bahrain; Bahrain of course being the original site of the Garden of Eden!

  8. In Tunisa too we have the similar sign, but our palm are smaller than the golf palm.

    Nice summer to all baihran, arabic and muslim people

  9. sadferret says:

    Mahmood, please let me know if/when you start producing your own Dibbis, I’m desperate for some 🙂

  10. Good question, Mahmood, when am I coming back home?
    I’m aiming for next March.. although I wish I could be back sooner (not that I’m saying I’m not happy in Japan — I love it here).

    Speaking of Dates; my friends in Japan wanted me to bring some dates with me to Japan for them to try it; I bought some dates on my way back here in March, and I noticed that all packaged dates I had said, “Made in KSA”. *sigh*

  11. meddo says:

    i got stopped in a Canadien airport for smuggling dates from bahrain, i had to explain to the guy that it was really edible, that and that the ma2mool i was carrying wasn’t filled with some toxin powder….

    talking bout my luck, hehe

  12. My wife smuggled some last summer to Alaska!
    According to the roles it is illegal to do so and if found in the airport it would get confiscated. But loving dates so much, she decided to go for it. It was “Khulas”, which is one of the best, but unfortunatly due to long trip it got spoiled.

  13. Khulas in Alaska?! Wow ~
    I thought I was being strange when I took a back of Khulas to Iowa during my Bachelor Degree years (Khulas is one of my favorites, too)

  14. Date palms? I didn’t know dates came from palm trees.

    I thought palm trees only produced coconuts.
    Guess I learned something today!

    Regarding cutting them down, why would that increase land value?
    What else can you grow that’s worth so much?

    Exotic (non-USA) dates are worth a fortune here!

  15. mahmood says:

    houses, villas, compounds, buildings, they’re all more valuable than date palms!

  16. z says:

    Some people believe that it’s actually bad luck to remove a palm tree from your house (one less palm tree = one less family member God forbid). My mom moved an 20-year-old palm tree from one corner of our garden to the next. We needed 20 men and a crane to do it. Guess burning it is much easier eh?

  17. Real estate & land is scarce in Bahrain? I would have expected much open vacant space. Or is it that the palms occupy the premium locations.

    I’m curious, do palms grow as a forest or do they just randomly dot the landscape?

  18. sadferret says:

    I’m off to Chelsea Flower Show in the morning – my kind of pilgrimage. Just seen a preview which included the sweetest Lebanese courtyard garden, complete with Nestle tins filled with pelargoniums!

  19. ByronB says:

    We bought some green dates from a farm shop just outside Chertsey two years ago, and really liked them, but the shop hasn’t had any since.
    Up till then we only knew the oblong boxes of sticky “EATME” dates which we had every Christmas!

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