This Is Where America Gets Almost All Its Winter Lettuce

March 5, 2015 12:29 AM

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This Is Where America Gets Almost All Its Winter Lettuce

Unless you're a homesteader, a Sunbelt resident who eats only food from your local farmers market, or an extremely devout carnivore, you've almost certainly eaten lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, a city of 93,000 at the nexus of Arizona, California and Mexico. The Yuma area, including the Imperial Valley across the California border, produces about 90 percent of all the leafy vegetables grown in the United States from November to March, when it's too cold to grow produce in most of the rest of the country.

The river -- along with almost constant sunshine, warm weather and ready access to a deep pool of skilled farm workers from across the border in Mexico -- has allowed Yuma to become one of the most productive agricultural regions in the country. Yuma farmers grow a host of crops: wheat, oranges, lem...

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