Yuma Ag and You: Lettuce Days 2016

Bobbi Stevenson McDermott Feb. 28, 2016 publication

OK Yuma, now is your chance! All those questions about crops, equipment, drones and everything farm will be going on down at the University of Arizona Yuma Agricultural Center, TODAY February 28. It is the final day of Lettuce Days and if you head west on 8th Street, you will find the festivities. Some of the days activities include cooking demonstrations; musical entertainment; Master Gardner demonstrations of flower arranging; the ‘Toss It Up” salad sponsored by Tanimura and Antle for $2.00 plus a coupon for free produce: and citrus tasting.

The special event tent will host ‘Salud to the Field Workers’ sponsored by Pasquinelli Produce includes multi-media presentations, story telling by workers; tasting samples of five dishes made from fruits, vegetables and other ingredients grown in Yuma. This special event is an additional $10.00 and seating is limited. The proceeds go to a nonprofit grassroots organization serving migrant and seasonal farm workers in Yuma County.

For $5.00 per bag, you can pick your own veggies from the Yuma Area Ag Council U-Harvest plot. Tickets are sold at the Headquarters tent and redeemed at the ‘Get Your Ag Scoop’ booth which will provide you the veggie bag, information about Yuma County Agriculture and a free packet of lettuce seed with planting directions. Even though the lettuce seed is grown in Yuma, you should be able to plant it in your area whenever gardens are being started. The lettuce will also grow in containers. The seeds are coated with clay containing a fungicide and fertilizer to help the seeds get a good start.

The clay holds more water, helping seed to have a successful germination.

For the family, there are 10 free events for the kids. The activities include face painting; messy craft area; mini tractor races (age and size restrictions may apply; Go Wild bird feeder craft project; magic show; giant size games to play, Jenga and Corn Hole; a petting farm; and a free family photo to take .home sponsored by Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee.

Drones are the hot topic these days and have many used in agricultural technology. Taylor Farms will present Unmanned Aerial Systems (drone) demonstration where you will learn about how the latest aerial technology, camera systems, electronic gimbals, fixed wing and multirotor aircraft are being used in agriculture.

Much of what the agricultural organizations in Yuma do is to educate citizens and visitors about the wonders of Yuma agriculture. Food safety is still the most important part of our agribusiness. Keeping fields free of contamination from people, animals, trash, weeds, insects and diseases cost the growers and shippers 7 to 10 cents per head of whatever it is you are purchasing. The sanitizing of tractors, harvest aids, bins, pallets and trucks are all part of the food safety chain of cleanliness. Field workers in aprons, hairnets, gloves, arm and leg covers with sanitized harvest implements use their judgment to determine if the crop is the proper size, color and quality for harvest. Most produce is touched 3 to 4 times from planting to harvest, essential for the production of our 100 plus fruit and vegetable crops.

Do not miss this opportunity to learn about Yuma Agriculture!