Welcome to Sam Cobb Farms We Grow Good Dates!


Dates and Tours. At Sam Cobb Farms we grow and sell fresh medjool dates and six other varieties of dates. We also offer guided educational farm tours. ($42 per adult)

Established in 2002, we are a family farm with ranches in central and eastern Riverside County (Desert Hot Springs 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 so we work hard to grow good dates.

Growing Good Dates is both 
Our Mission and Our Goal...year after year.

DATE FARM: On-Farm Retail Date Sales Saturdays: From 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM and other times by arrangement.  

WE ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC SIX MONTHS 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. 

       Order our dates online 24/7         Office hours & Phone orders accepted Mon-Sat  8 AM to 5 PM, Pacific.
SAM & MAXINE COBB:  We employ more than 47 years 
of agricultural knowledge, experience & science to produce the highest quality and best tasting dates people have ever
enjoyed!  We grow seven delicious date varieties in all, including Medjool, Barhi, and our very own...Black Gold. 
[email protected]
We Grow Good Dates!
Farm Address:
22325 Henry Rd
Desert Hot Springs, CA  92241
Please See Map down below
Sam Cobb’s ‘Black Gold’

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.

First Fruits from young Medjool date palms.
       About Sam Cobb

I have always wanted to be a farmer. Yes, always!  

From the time that I was a child growing up in rural Fresno County, California... and on into adulthood. The dream never left me. 

Growing up, farming was always a soft and pleasant recurring dream in my life. The dream would sweep me away and into dreamland whenever I would stop to think about it. It all seemed so real to me. I was in my happy place. I was a farmer. Tilling the soil, planting seeds, irrigating, harvesting and marketing. (Yes marketing. Hey, you have to sell what you grow, right?) In fact, I still dream those dreams quite regularly. Every farmer does.

I just knew that someday, I would be a farmer. There was no holding me back. I would do whatever it took to succeed. I was willing to pay the price.

The price required that I learn and become educated in agriculture. Learn its ways, learn its language, learn its various industries, learn its history and learn its science. 

So, upon my arrival at high school in the fall of 1976, I enrolled in my first agriculture classes at Washington Union High School and joined the Easton Fresno Chapter of the Future Farmers of America; FFA. An organization that I hold in high esteem to this very day!

During high school I excelled in my Agriculture classes; distinguishing myself as a champion award winning Public Speaker, a member of the Parliamentary Procedure and Debate team, and becoming recognized as an outstanding Welder and Agricultural Mechanic.  

In 1980, I applied for and received a Bank of America Achievement Award, in the field of Agriculture: "for Distinguished Performance, the Promise of Future Success and Service to Society".  This financial award paid my way through college, covering all tuitions and books. 

I went on and obtained an Associates of Science degree in Agronomy from Reedley College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Fresno State University.   

I was a determined and focused student; approaching every agriculture class with purpose and determination. I always wanted to know: 'how will this class help me as I work to become a farmer'?

Now, after many false starts and a 30 year detour-career working for the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service,   
(USDA-NRCS), I am finally living my dream! Living and leaving my mark on agriculture. 

I am an American Farmer. An American Date Farmer. An African American Date Farmer. There are not many date farmers in the United States. And there are even less of them that are Black? At present, I believe I am the only Black Date Farmer in the whole USA: if you know of another or others, I would love to meet them.

From the age of about 3 or 4, I was drawn to whats commonly known as, "the dirt". I would later learn to use its scientific name...soil, as I continued to learn and grow. 

Now, I have learned to love and appreciate the soil and the life sustaining plants that grow therein. Yes. In a way that gardeners, farmers, and ranchers truly learn to understand and feel.

I love talking to people about gardening and farming of any kind and farm life in general. For me, farming is farming... and I love farming! I love farming for what it is...a great way of life! And when you love what you do, it shows!

My Professional Title:
I am an Agronomist!

Few people have earned a degree in Agronomy. Probably because few people enjoy soil and plant science and farming in general, as much as I do. 

It's always nice to meet a fellow agronomist.

My educational background is: 
  • Agricultural Education
  • Plant Science,
  • Agronomy 
  • Ag Mechanics 
  • Ag Engineering 
  • Ag Economics.


Sam Cobb,
Agronomist and
Expert Date Grower/Farmer 🙂

We love it when people enjoy life on the farm!
Buy Dates
        WELCOME to Sam Cobb Farms 
From our family to yours, thanks for stopping by!
          Date Farm Tour 
            w/Sam Cobb
  (Reserve by Phone Too!)
     Educational Date FarmTours
               $42.00 per Adult
We offer farm tours, led by Me, the real Sam Cobb! Each paid adult tour includes a package of dates.

Book your Sam Cobb Farms date farm tour today and plan to spend an hour or so, with the real Sam Cobb...a treat in itself! 

This is the only farmer-lead date farm tour in all of Southern California. You get the REAL Sam Cobb!  A real farmer with real scientific and agricultural knowledge. So if you have a gardening, farming or agricultural question about how dates and plants in general are grown, you will get a real answer!

Join Sam on a walking tour among the palms, (not a hike),  learning first-hand how dates are grown, their sustainability in desert environments and how new date varieties come about and are developed. Sample some dates right from a tree! Have your questions answered...for real! 

As a added bonus, Sam is an excellent photographer, and will photograph you and your personal group, with your personal camera or cell phone! You will leave our farm and the Palm Springs area, with beautiful photos of you and your loved ones to cherish for years to come. And, they will belong to you. Print and post them as you like.

There is no better farm tour guide than Sam Cobb. His passion for agriculture and farming comes out in every tour. You will learn some really interesting facts about dates and plants in general. And maybe even a little bit about the local weather?

Click on the  "Book Tours and Deliveries" button above right and select a date to book your tour. You can also read more about our tours on that page.

We currently offer tours on Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting), and other special times (private tours) by arrangement. 

                   TOUR TIMES:
Thursdays at 11:00 AM 
Saturdays & Sundays (online & walk-up guests)
11:00 AM
  2:00 PM

Tour Price:
$42.00 Adults 

Child age 5-12  $12

Age 0-4 are free

Still have questions? Call the farm for more information. 1-760-861-1664
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.
(760) 861-1664
Farm Guest from Germany!
We Sell Date Palms!

-Large trees for landscape contractor  
 work. Call for pricing.

Small shoots for 2023 plantings. Reservations are being accepted. Call Sam because they will not last!

Call Sam form more information

CDFA License No. C0533.001
(760) 861-1664

Nic wrote: 
"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." 

Ronald Wrote:
"Fantastic dates and we learned a lot from Sam Cobb himself on the tour.  Great experience!!"

Eric Wrote:
"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!" 

Jason Wrote:
"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."
Carol B.
Leland, NC 
        Our dates are Grown 
 Pesticide free in California, USA!
Product Info
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!
Book Tours and Deliveries
Thanks for stopping by!
I am Sam Cobb, and I Really 
love farming!
A Video Welcome
Message From Sam   Cobb
A beautiful day at Sam Cobb Farms' Desert Hot Springs ranch.
Medjool date palms in bloom.
Farm guests stop and pose after participating in the Date Farm Tour at Sam Cobb Farms.
Sam Cobb Farms was featured in the Los Angeles Times: Sunday October 8, 2021.
Sam Cobb, date grower
Book A Date Farm Tour here! Tour includes: Dates. Sampling of fruit from a tree. Exclusive photos of YOU and your family/ friend.  Answers to your questions. Time w/Sam Cobb...a real and rare treat for sure!
         Samuel D. Cobb
AKA, "The Real Sam Cobb"
         California Date Grower 
         Sam Cobb
Photo by:  Sanetra Longno
How To De-Thorn A Date Palm
Tour Times:
11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Click Book Tours to see
Available Times 

Book below and 
by phone.

Also, Order Dates Online 24/7
Order Dates 
Online Anytime! 
Come To Sam Cobb Farms!

Are you considering a trip to the Greater Palm Springs area between the months of October and April? If so, consider including a Thursday or Saturday in your travel plans and arrange for a tour at  Sam Cobb Farms! Come and experience our world class farm tour and our super fresh dates!

Our dates have been voted #1 in the world by those who know... World Travelers!! 

But you are the true judge. So come and see for yourself!

You can book a Date Farm Tour w/Sam Cobb mid-week or on Saturdays. 

In season on Saturdays, you can come to our farm and purchase our "world class" dates or do the tour, or Both! 

Mid-week tours and sales are by appointment only. So book online.

While you are here, see the palms and their fruit up close. Sample our various date varieties. Take some "Palm Springs photos" to remember your time in the area.

We look forward to having you on the farm.


Sam Cobb
1980 West Fresno-Madera Section Future Farmers of America (FFA) Public Speaking Champion, Sam Cobb w/Pat Anastasio, Easton-Fresno FFA
   On-Farm Sales & Tours
will resume in October 2024.
Please order our dates online.