Lettuce Be Festive - The Yuma Lettuce Days Festival

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Photo by Johannes Henseler — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

With the winter holidays upon us and the New Year right around the corner, tepid thoughts of New Year’s resolutions might be on our minds. Slow down a little, concentrate on the important things in life, read more books, lose weight- more often than not, our resolutions involve dreams of a happier and healthier lifestyle in the coming year.

Whatever your New Year’s resolution is (or isn’t), the Yuma Lettuce Days Festival is a pretty good place to put it into effect. With the southwest’s longest salad bar, 5,000 pounds of lettuce available for purchase, and farmers markets galore, you’re sure to get back in touch with your inner herbivore.

January 24th will mark the 11th year of the festival hosted by the “lettuce capital of the world”. A fitting sobriquet for a city that accounts for half of Arizona’s 3 billion dollar agricultural revenue and produces 90% of America’s winter vegetable crops. Each year, the festival attracts around 40,000 people- a mesclun mix of tourists, residents, and soldiers from the nearby proving ground.

Additional attractions include a flag raising ceremony, produce and equipment displays, a box car derby, music, and artisanal sculptures made from seasonal vegetables. Burgeoning horticulturists can purchase a wide variety of seeds along with an impressive variety of locally-made ceramic bowls to show off the fruits of their labor, come harvest time.

When life gives you lettuce, you make a salad. But what do you do with those leftover leaves? This ingenious recipe from The New York Times “Recipes for Health” series answers that question.

Still curious? Lettuce answer your questions about other great festivals in Arizona.

- Courtney Maum

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