Rancho Meladuco Date Farm
Rancho Meladuco Date Farm was founded in 2015 by Joan Smith, a mom of 3 and accountant turned date farmer living in Southern California. Joan and her husband grew dates on their family ranch in the Coachella Valley for many years with friends and family. Accustomed to their annual gifts of the freshly harvested and hand-packed dates, Joan and her family began to sell the delicious dates they were growing. When her youngest child turned 4, Joan decided it was time to take a turn at date farming and began planting more trees.
Known for being exceptionally tender, juicy and flavorful, Rancho Meladuco dates are what the date industry refers to as "fresh" dates due to their higher moisture levels. To Joan, these fresh dates are unquestionably the most delectable and candy-like, and her vision has been to bring these fresh dates to market for all to enjoy.
Joan's life and interests led her to this venture in growing dates. She possesses a love of working the land, being outdoors, great food, cooking, and especially of providing pleasing and delicious food to others. They grow their date palms with love and passion, pack their dates with care and creativity, and partner with other growers in their small community to provide the best fruit available. Tapping into the availability of other growers' fruit allows Rancho Meladuco to curate a larger supply of great tasting, tender dates and to satisfy a virtually untapped market for these more perishable and delicate dates while their younger trees grow to a producing age.
As a mother and consumer Joan understands the need for more nutrient dense, whole foods in the American diet, and is committed to helping more Americans, and especially children, discover this naturally sweet treat and incorporate dates into their daily meals and snacks. Joan loves to use social media to promote new and interesting ways to enjoy dates as an alternative to traditional desserts and sugary treats with ideas such as peanut butter stuffed dates, dates stuffed with peach and cinnamon, or simply frozen dates on a stick. They also believe that as food growers they have a unique responsibility to help reduce food insecurity and they make regular donations of dates and other excess ranch produce to local food banks as well as fundraise for charities that fight hunger.