Friday, March 4, 2011

Eat Your Greens

Broccoli as it grows in Yuma, Arizona
One of the things I had forgotten I loved about Yuma when I lived there was the agriculutral business. When we rolled into Yuma last week, I was reminded that Yuma and the Imperial Valley in California are the largest producers of lettuce in U.S. in the winter time. If you are eating bagged salad in the winter, chances are that it was grown & bagged in Yuma, Arizona.

When I first arrived in Yuma in 2001, I worked briefly for a cooling company. They receive all the grown goods that are hand picked daily by Mexicans in the surrounding fields. Whenever I think I have a tough job, I think of those wonderful men and women who are hunched over every single day, cutting and cleaning the lettuce and broccoli that ends up in my fridge. Those hard workers are bussed to the fields in old, white "school" busses that tow porta potties behind them.  The workers are in those fields from sun up until sun down ~ 10 to 12 hours a day. I don't know where they come from but I know when the season is over in Yuma near the end of March, they migrate to Salinas, California to do the same work.  Check out the label on your lettuce the next time you buy it.  Yuma holds an annual Lettuce Days event that draws nearly 40,000 visitors. We never attended it while living there.  It's one of those things that we thought was just for tourists.  But, I do regret never attending.

That's why we've tried to go to different events around Tri-Cities since we moved here.  Some things have been totally awesome, like the balloon festival in Prosser last fall. I have enjoyed a couple of rodeos. I love the concerts in the park on Wednesday nights in the summer.  Other events have fallen very short of my expectation of a good time.  The Walla Walla Onion Festival comes to mind.   Nonetheless, if there is an event we haven't been to, and the cost is low, free is even better, we try to go.

The other night, I was talking with a friend who is into horses. She invited us to a chili feed which is being held at the end of an annual horse ride that the horse community puts together every year. It's being held out at Horn Rapids. I forgot the name of the event but it's on my calendar and should provide a great photo opportunity along with getting to pet some horses and kick some rocks with country folks.  I may even have to find myself a cowgirl hat & wear my sparkly heart earrings to the event. Hee haw!!  I love it!!

What's happening in your community?  I'd love to hear about it!

love, susan


  1. Gold Medal Basketball Tournament is going on right now....that always draws the people from SE AK to Juneau. And then there is the annual Alaska Folk Festival. Did you ever go to that?

  2. Sadly, I never attended the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau but I have a great love of blue grass and since I've been with Gene, we have been to some fantastic weekend blue grass festivals. Talk about wonderful people ... you'll never find nicer people that those gathered for the love of music.

    @ Kathy ~ are you going to the music festival?

  3. @Susan... we didn't go to the festival in Juneau, but we did go to the bluegrass festival, by accident actually, up in Fairbanks.. I still have an orangey-yellow tee shirt to prove it!!... Don't know if you remember, but that was where they dropped the price of the shirts to $5 at the end and I bought another one for that kid with Downs Syndrome.. best $5 I can remember spending ever.

  4. @ Gene ~ I DO remember that festival in Fairbanks and you buying those T-shirts. We always have great fun anywhere we go. And, yeah, I remember the great big smile on that kid's face. Priceless!

    P.S. I like it when you were that T-shirt out in big crowds. I can always find you faster when you were that bright yellow T. :-)

  5. I love this time of year in Fairbanks! March is my most favorite winter month, as there are so many events and activities going on around town. Right now, besides the glorious aurora being a regular occurrence, the Ice Art Championships are going on. The North American Championship dog sled races are in a couple of weeks. The Native Arts Festival is going on this weekend. There's no reason to stay indoors. It's good to wipe away the cobwebs of winter. Add in the longer hours of daylight, and the community is gradually waking up again. I love it!


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