Educating Farmers and Consumers About the Culture and Benefits of Jujubes, A Traditional Fruit Crop

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2024: $25,000.00
Projected End Date: 01/30/2026
Host Institution Award ID: G249-24-WA507
Grant Recipient: Rock Front Ranch
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Alisha Taff
Rock Front Ranch


  • Agronomic: other
  • Fruits: other
  • Nuts: other
  • Vegetables: other
  • Additional Plants: other
  • Animals: other
  • Animal Products: other
  • Miscellaneous: other


  • Crop Production: drought tolerance
  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity

    Proposal summary:

    The research question that RFR seeks to answer is: "Will
    increased education of the public regarding the health benefits
    of jujubes result in increased sales and profit?"

    Customers will be invited  on social media to participate in
    discussions on whether their purchases of jujubes have increased
    as they learn more about the health benefits of the fruit. Jujube
    nutrient information will be provided to inform the discussion.
    The discussion results will inform RFR's marketing efforts.

    The project is significant for the growth of the jujube industry
    in California. In a normal rainfall year in the Cuyama Valley, no
    irrigation is needed and fertilization requirements of jujubes
    are very low. This drought tolerance is especially important in
    this area which has been identified as "critically overdrafted"
    by the Department of Water Resources (DWR). This means more water
    has been pumped out of the ground than is replenished by
    rainfall, stream flows, and other sources. According to the DWR
    report, in an evaluation of the period from 1989 to 2009, the
    Cuyama Valley is in "a basin subject to critical overdraft when
    continuation of present water management practices would probably
    result in significant adverse overdraft-related environmental,
    social or economic impacts."

    Jujube trees contribute to sustainable agriculture in part
    because of their ability to prevent erosion. In turn, the land
    surrounding the trees becomes an excellent habitat for
    wildflowers that contribute to RFR's other crop, honey, which
    increases our crop diversification.

    Dissemination of information to producers will occur at the
    California Rare Fruit Growers Conference, organic conferences,
    social media, our e-newsletter, and in classes taught by Alisha
    Taff at Allan Hancock College.

    It is expected that this outreach will increase the number of
    farmers who grow and market jujubes, as well as increase the
    farmers' interest in sustainable agriculture.




    Project objectives from proposal:

    Rock Front Ranch produces certified organic ripe, fresh jujubes.
    Perfectly ripe fresh jujubes picked
    and ready for distribution.

    RESEARCH: Marketing Research

    Determine the effectiveness of disseminating health information
    about jujubes to store buyers and the general public. Handouts
    will be created, online discussions will be conducted, and
    results will be published on social media platforms as well as in
    our e-newsletter. Success will be measured by increase in sales.


    Classes will be taught at Allan Hancock College to socially
    disadvantaged students seeking to learn about income-producing
    crops. Presentations and classes will be offered to farmers who
    are interested in growing and marketing jujubes. The curriculum
    will include history of this traditional crop, best varieties for
    the Central California region, care of jujube trees, food safety
    compliance, and pre- and post-harvest best practices for timely
    harvesting, drying, storage and record-keeping.



    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.