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3330Re: [pfaf] balanites aegyptiaca - any information welcome

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  • Griselda Mussett
    Nov 6, 2008
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      Not sure if this is the same plant, but we have successfully started
      some edible dates into small trees here, on the windowsill.
      The trick was to buy expensive soft upmarket packet of dates, not the
      kind sold with a plastic fork in the box. Put the stones into a
      plastic bag and some damp compost in a warm cupboard and leave for a
      long time (check to see if any have sprouted). Plant them up into

      Our propagation book said they were very difficult to start but every
      single one sprang into life. They have formed into small trees, with
      very stiff stems and leaves, going quite slowly - but of course we had
      a poor summer here in UK.

      No idea how long it would take for these to grow to fruiting size or
      whether we could plant them outside - probably need to get a greenhouse
      or conservatory :-( (difficult with very limited space here).

      In my imagination these are the dates of the desert, the fruits were
      divine, like something from the Arabian Nights.


      On 30 Oct 2008, at 09:08, placeedevey wrote:

      > Greetings! I'm an aspiring crafter of natural bath-and-body products,
      > and I am looking into various plants and herbs which I can use in lieu
      > of some of the more nasty synthetics out there. In my searching for
      > various plants I have come across balanites aegyptiaca, the "desert
      > date". This tree is very old, and references to its use have appeared
      > in Egyptian texts. It was one of the ingredients in the sacred
      > incense "kyphi" and is still used today as the oil is edible and has a
      > fair few vitamins and minerals. It's currently attracting attention
      > for use as a biofuel, but it's proving difficult to cultivate.
      > However, according to various research I've done online, this plant
      > has a lot of uses, and its cultivation and harvest would greatly
      > benefit many areas around the Nile, especially as most regions are in
      > a rather nasty period of drought.
      > There are very few suppliers of balanites oil, and I'm not entirely
      > certain whether the suppliers are using sustainable methods, or
      > whether the proceeds for the oil is going directly to those who
      > harvest it. So any further information is welcome. It might take an
      > age before the oil could be imported to the UK, but the more
      > information the better.
      > Thanks in advance.
      > R. Day

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