Have you ever had a date before? If the answer is no, that's okay. Apparently not a lot of people on our staff have. So Lisa decided to share her dates. In possibly the most California conversation of the week, Lisa was discussing with Joanna her trip to the Downtown Farmer's Market in El Paso and the random things she bought for the week. After discussing the usual raw, local honey (great for allergies btw), some sort of sweet or baked good that she shouldn't have bought and some locally grown vegetables, she told Joanna about the hippie she saw selling dates. Weirder than the guy she bought the dates from, was the fact that Joanna told her she had never had a date before! Growing up in........CALIFORNIA!!!!!! (feel free to sing the song here, we all do from now on), and in the Coachella Valley, eating dates was kind of a normal thing. There were date farms all over in the desert, not to mention we have an entire festival to celebrate the delicious jewels of the desert. Seriously. Look up the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival.

The Date Festival was probably my favorite time of year in the desert. Two weeks of fun stuff to do and everyone tried to go almost everyday to the fair. There's carnival rides, ostrich and camel races, elephant rides, monster trucks, concerts, magic shows, comedy shows, petting zoos, rainforest exhibits, song and dance shows and more. Oh and yeah, dates! There is an opening blessing of the dates ceremony, several cooking with dates cooking classes, dates food cooking competitions and more. So, if you love dates, I recommend checking out the festival. If you don't, avoid the Coachella Valley in February. But also try a Sheild's date shake or date ice cream because if that doesn't change your mind I don't think you're a human being. Also just watch the video to see who I ended up making a fan of the beautiful jewel known as a date.

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