All The Makings of a Salad – Part 1

I think this is going to be a long story so to avoid boring you I will do it over a few days:-).

As I mentioned in previous blogs we are surrounded by farmland, which hubby and I think begs to have a story written about it.  Maybe because it has fascinated us since we arrived.

Yuma is the nation’s third largest vegetable producer because of it’s rich soil, water access and more than 350 days of sunshine a year.  During the winter months the temperature drops just enough to create the country’s longest growing season, which makes Yuma the winter lettuce capital of the world, supplying a whopping 90% of the nation’s lettuce between November and March.  Approximately 45,000 workers harvest the fields and work in the nine salad plants that produce bagged salad mixes. During peak production months, each of those plants processes more than two million pounds of lettuce each day!

Cultivation starts with prepping the fields and believe me I know very little about this, but here is what I have been told (and forgive me if some of my details are incorrect).  The dirt is tilled 2.5 feet deep then laser leveled to tabletop perfection.  A GPS is then used to make straight rows, which are formed into mounds.  Depending on the crop the rows are aligned to go north to south or east to west … never on an angle.

From what we have seen lettuce is usually planted in double rows so once the row has been prepared the top of the mound is leveled off.

And then a machine comes along and prepares the rows for planting and flooding.

Once the seeds have been planted some fields are flooded twice to saturate the dirt and we have seen others that are watered by sprinkler.  There are many irrigation channels around Yuma, which provide water to the fields.

If your not totally bored, stay tune for tomorrow’s blog:-)

Until next time …

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