Volunteers can sign up through Nov. 6
Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus is home to the largest date palm collection of any public garden in the country with more than 40 date palm varieties.
On Sept. 25, volunteers started harvesting this year's date crop, which has become an annual tradition at the university.
Spots are open through Nov. 6 for interested volunteers. The dates are then sold on campus, but volunteers get to take home a bag for their hard work.
This year, for the first time, dates will be delivered to the Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry in Scottdale, Arizona.
"The owner Rebecca (Seitz) is an ASU alumna and has volunteered at the ASU date grove for years," says Deborah Thirkill, program coordinator at ASU Facilities Development and Management Grounds Services, who organizes the harvest each year. "The store is celebrating their 75-year anniversary, and they will be selling all our varieties of ASU-grown dates. They will also ship dates to friends and family back home."
The dates go on sale at Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry on Oct. 1 and will be sold from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. every Saturday in October at the Polytechnic campus, across the street from the date grove at 7115 Innovation Way South in Mesa.
Top photo: Volunteer Jenane Al-Dalal helps pick a branch of Khalasa dates, a variety that originated in Saudi Arabia, during the first of several volunteer events to harvest dates from the Polytechnic campus date palm germplasm on Sept. 25. All photos by Deanna Dent/ASU News