Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Dangerous Work of Palm Workers

Aired on NPR's Latino USA on February 21, 2014.

It’s said that date palm trees want their feet in water, and their heads in fire. It makes sense, then that more than 90% of the dates harvested in the U.S. grow in California’s Eastern Coachella Valley. Irrigation water is pumped here from the Colorado River, and summer temperatures can top 120 degrees. I spent some time in the Eastern Coachella Valley last spring, and got curious about the history of dates here, and about the palmeros, palm workers, who tend them.