Floyd and Bess Shields came to the California desert in 1924 and started Shields Date Garden, working long and hard to build up their business and educate their customers about date culture. In the beginning, Mr. Shields would give his lecture in the garden. As the popularity of his lecture grew, Mr. Shields incorporated a slide show, then recorded his presentation in conjunction with the slide show so that the show could be run several times a day. Today, the 15-minute film Romance and Sex Life of the Date shows continuously during store hours, where you can still hear Mr. Shields talking about his favorite subject: the Date.
Floyd was a pioneer in the date business, breeding his own varieties of dates, such as our famous "Blonde" and "Brunette" dates, that are exclusive to Shields Date Garden and grown nowhere else in the entire world. He also invented the Date Crystal®, a blend of dates turned into a dry product that can be used in cooking, on cold cereals and in everyone's favorite: date shakes. Date Crystals® do not need refrigeration and when kept in a moisture-proof container will last for many years— without preservatives.
We still grow the dates without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. There are no preservatives used on the dates— when you buy Shields' dates you are getting a healthful, natural treat that is higher in potassium than bananas, with no fat and no sodium.
If you are in the Palm Springs area, take 30 minutes or so and drop by the Shields Date Garden. Here you can learn about how dates are grown (an amazingly labor-intensive process) in an entertaining old film that runs continuously in the theatre. You can shop for dates and other treats (there's a huge variety of things to look at and buy!) in the store. You can also shop for fun and unique gifts.
Oh, and do not miss the opportunity to try the Shields Date Shake. It's large and filling, so one will feed a family, but you do not want to miss the opportunity. I don't even like dates, but still really enjoyed the creamy, caramely treat. Perfect for hot days and really delicious.