Is the Desert Fruit Company a cooperative?
The Desert Fruit Company is a company limited by guarantee which is open to all members of the Tamara Cooperative to join and work with. The company leases the farm and equipment from the co-operative and returns all profits back into sustainable infrastructure and further developments of the farm.
Are your dates organic?
Are the dates processed in any way?
Some varieties of dates are very soft when we pick them off the palms. If they are too soft to handle we dry them on stainless steel trays before we pack them into boxes so they don’t get squashed or go soggy in transport. However, there is nothing whatsoever added to the dates – they are left as nature intended.
Khalal? Rutab? Tamar? What are fresh dates anyway?
Some varieties of dates can be eaten ‘fresh’ or khalal. When they are at this stage of ripeness, they are yellow and crunchy and need to be stored refrigerated. It’s a delicious way of eating dates that many people in Australia aren’t familiar with. As they ripen, the dates soften and turn brown and translucent, progressing to the rutab and then the tamar stages of ripeness. Confusingly, these are sometimes also called ‘fresh’ dates. We try to distinguish between these different stages of ripeness by using the Arabic terms or saying ‘fresh’ for khalal and ‘semi-dried’ for when the dates turn brown.
How should I store dates?
All of our dates are best stored refrigerated. Refrigeration is essential for khalal dates and for the softer varieties, especially medjool. Khalal dates will last about a week and rutab or tamar dates will last up to six months in the fridge. Dates can also be frozen and thawed as necessary.
Where can I buy your dates?
We are able to sell our dates all over Australia as our farm has fruit fly free status and the majority of our sales are direct to customers.
As we are a small farm and can’t currently meet demand for Australian grown dates within Australia we aren’t exporting anywhere else at the moment.
Why can’t I buy your dates all year round?
We are a small farm and our harvests vary from year to year. Further, Australia imports many thousands of tonnes of dates a year so there is no way we could ever meet current demand for dates from our property! We generally harvest in February and our dates are available until they are sold out (generally mid year).
Can I come and visit the farm?
Even though there are times when we are run off our feet, there is usually time for a cup of tea. However, we need our visitors to be self reliant, have their own 4WD and understand that Tamara Plantion is a working farm in the bush with an abundance of prickles, flies and biting things! So if you would like to come and visit our beautiful farm please contact us for details on how to get there.
Can I come and volunteer at the farm?
Please see http://desertfruitcompany.com.au/?page_id=64