Date Farm and Tours. At Sam Cobb Farms we grow and sell fresh Medjool dates and six other varieties of dates and we offer guided educational farm tours!
Established in 2002, we are a family farm with ranches in central and eastern Riverside County (Sky Valley and Blythe). Our primary emphasis is getting our world-class great tasting dates into the hands of people who will enjoy them most, and sharing Sam's love of agriculture and farming with each or our tour guest!
We package our dates to be convenient, easy to eat, easy store and easy to share. Our dates make an impressive and memorable gift...for friends, associates, loved ones
Good dates will always impress people... and We Grow Good Dates! ...its our Mission and our Goal, year after year.
DATE FARM: On-Farm Retail Date Sales Saturdays & Sundays: From 9 AM to 5 PMand other times by arrangement. We are open to the public six month of the year, from a weekend in Mid-October to a weekend in Mid-April. In the off season, call the farm for fruit availability or visit us here online. See our location on the map below. We are located north of Palm Desert, CA and east of Desert Hot Springs, CA in the community of Sky Valley. Phone ahead if coming from out of the area to be certain that we are open or available.
After following the marked signs along Dillon Road to Sam Cobb Farms in Sky Valley, I not only discovered the freshest and most delicious dates, but I became fascinated with Sam Cobb’s passion for and knowledge of date farming.
“I was three years old when I saw my first tractor from my parent’s porch in Fresno, CA. From that moment on, I wanted to be a farmer. My favorite TV show has always been “Green Acres,” recounts Sam.
He started by obtaining two Agricultural degrees at Fresno State University in the 1980s. During this time, he met and fell in love with Maxine. He only had one prerequisite for marriage. “Would she be willing to be a farmer’s wife?” Her answer was yes, and they began farming vegetables in Fresno.
Times were tough for farmers then, so when he was offered a job in 1989 with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, he took it. By 1996 he moved his family to La Quinta. Through his job in Soil Conservation, Cobb visited many date farms and started doing research on the process of cultivating dates.
Ten years ago, the opportunity came to buy five acres of land in Sky Valley. Sam and Maxine decided to invest in their own date farm by planting date trees. They realized the process would take years, and that they would both still need to continue in their day jobs. Maxine is a fifth grade teacher at LB Johnson Elementary School in Indio.
Sam’s education, research, years of experience, business skills, and careful long term planning made his dream possible. Ten years later, the Cobbs are realizing their first truly exceptional crop of dates. As Sam walked me through the 300 trees, consisting of seven different varieties, he spoke passionately about his dates.
Here’s what I learned: Date trees grow from suckers and seeds. There are female trees which must be pollinated by the male trees. Sam’s farm has a ratio of 30 females to 1 male. If a sucker is planted then he knows for sure what variety of dates will be produced. It’s like cloning. If grown from a seed, no one is sure who’s the daddy and therefore one can’t be sure what variety will be produced. The dates must be covered with bags while maturing to keep away the birds. Date trees take 15 years to mature but can live for more than 100 years. A healthy tree never stops producing. It’s a generational crop, and Cobb hopes his kids and their kids will continue the tradition of date farming.
I sampled each one of his seven varieties, three of which have Sam’s trademark. They are Black Gold, Safari and Candi. These aren’t available anywhere else in the world and have distinct flavors. Safari chews like a cookie and has a mild nutty taste. Candi has a caramel aspect, and Black Gold, Sam says, has two textures and at least three amazing flavors, caramel, chocolate, dark cherry, a hint of vanilla and maybe more. Sam quipped, “I don’t grow anything I don’t like.”
The farm starts harvesting the popular Medjool in September, and the rest, including the Barhi and Zahidi, are all picked by January. Dates can last for a long time depending on the care. All Cobb’s dates are fresh and grown pesticide free .
Maxine and Sam are at their stand on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., October through April. They will mail dates, too. For more information go to samcobbfarms.com or call (760) 861-1664. The farm is located at 22325 Henry Rd., Sky Valley, 92241. If using a GPS, put in Desert Hot Springs as the city. Make the trip and be in for a treat.
Black Gold Dates
WE GROW 7 VARIETIES
COME TO OUR DATE FARM AND PUT YOURSELF IN THE PICTURE!
2020/21 On-Farm Date Sales & Tours, Open Sat. & Sun. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Order Online too, 24/7.
Order our dates Online, Anytime, 24/7, All Year long.
Phone Orders accepted daily, 8-5 Pacific
We are open again! Come see a real date farm! Purchase some really fresh-tasting dates. You will be amazed when you taste a real farm-fresh date.
Profile Author: Sally Hedberg
Thanks for Stopping By
I Really Love Farming!
The Fortin Family, farm guest from Susanville, CA ...our date farm is a great place for families to gather and create a memory!
First Fruits from young Medjool date palms.
Septy and Cindy from Canada
We are Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley's #1 location for Great Tasting, local, on-farm, fresh dates. Come and see why!
Sam with Amy Mathews and her Aunts
Farm guests from Seattle, WA
Did You Know?
Sam has always wanted to farm. Yes, always! -none stop and uninterrupted, throughout his life. From the age of 3 or 4 Sam has wanted to be a farmer. Wow! Sam says he was "born to farm". He loves talking with people about farming and farm life and agriculture in general regardless of the crop. For Sam, farming is farming, and he loves farming for what it is...a great way of life!
When you love what you do, it shows!
Sam educational background is Plant Science, Agronomy, Agricultural Mechanics and Agricultural Economics.
We love it when people enjoy life on the farm!
Farm guest from Oklahoma City, OK...thanks for stopping by!
Not only can you purchase farm fresh dates at our farm and see the date palm trees up-close for yourself, we now offer Farmer-lead Tours. Book your Farm Tour today and plan to spend some time with the real Sam Cobb...a treat in itself!
Join Sam on a walking tour among the palms, learning first-hand how dates are grown, their sustainability in desert environments and how new date varieties are developed. Sample some dates right from the tree! Have your questions answered...for real!
There is no better farm tour guide
than Sam Cobb. His passion for agriculture and farming comes out in every tour.
Click on the "BOOK TOURS" button above and select a day to book a tour. You can also read more about our tours on that page.
We currently offer tours on Saturdays (weather permitting).
$22.00 General Admission
$12.00 Child (age 5-12)
Still have questions? Call the farm for information.
Please search for "Sam Cobb Farms"in your Google Maps search tool, to receive the clearest directions to our farm. Thank You.
Farm Location Map is at the bottom of this page.
Farm Guest from Germany!
Well Sell Date Palms!
-Large trees for landscape contractor
Small shoots for 2021 plantings are
now available. Call Sam!
Call Sam form more information
CDFA License No. C0533.001
"Sam's 'Black Gold' dates really are unique and taste so good! They're a variety of date only available at Sam Cobb farms so you have to come here to get them and I highly recommend you do! Black Gold dates are by far my favorite and like nothing else we tried at other date farms while in the area. Sam and Maxine are some of the nicest people you will ever meet in life. Great tour of the farm and so much more interesting when its led by the actual man who started it all."
"Fantastic dates and we learned a lot from Sam Cobb himself on the tour. Great experience!!"
"I highly encourage anyone with an interest in Dates to head out to the Palm Desert/Desert Hot Springs [area] and take a tour of the Sam Cobb date farm. Sam is the best of them and has a long lineage in agriculture and farming. He offers tours of the farm and you learn about how dates are grown."
Nicholas C. Wrote:
"Best dates I've ever had. Barhi are like natural caramel candies. Try his very own creation, Black Gold! We'll be back!"
"Had such a great experience on our private tour of their date farm. Super friendly and knowledgeable family. Highly recommend if you want to learn more about dates and go home with something tasty. Also, love that it it's not touristy...let's secretly hope that it stays that way."
Carol B Wrote:
"If you are planning to go to the Palm Springs Area of CA be sure to Visit Sam Cobb at his Date Farm located in Desert Hot Springs. Sam is a bundle of happiness that can't be contained when he is showing you his beloved farm and telling you about his DELICIOUS dates. My husband and I and our campground neighbors took the tour that Sam himself gives and it was fantastic. Not only is Sam informative about all phases of raising his yummy dates but he is also entertaining. It was wonderful to see a man that is so very happy working and living his dream. You will be able to sample several varieties of dates and you can also buy them just like we did. Even folks who don't usually like dates went away that day with some of the varieties that Sam himself developed such as Black Gold. Absolutely DELICIOUS!! Be sure to include Sam Cobb's farm into your visit itinerary, you'll be glad you did."
This Season's On-Farm Date Sales & Tours
END April 18, 2021. Book a tour or just come and purchase dates.
Visit our online store all year!
We accept orders by phone and for items not listed in the store.
Securing the future: Sam and his mentor, Mr. Ron Swan, pose at Sam's 2019 Date Planting near Blythe, CA. These palm shoots, though seven years old at planting, will require another 14 years of growth before reaching maturity...a full 21 years!