Arizona leafy greens season begins
Arizona is known as the winter lettuce capital of the U.S., providing Americans with an abundance of lettuce and leafy greens from November to March. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, Arizona farmers grow approximately 25 percent of the total U.S. lettuce supply each year. On an annual basis the leafy greens farming community in Arizona generates a $2 billion impact.
“Right now, Arizona farms are actively growing and harvesting all leafy greens from Iceberg and Romaine to spinach and spring mix,” said Teressa Lopez, administrator of the Arizona LGMA program. “Arizona LGMA food-safety audits will begin this week and continue regularly throughout our growing season.”
To celebrate the start of harvest, Arizona Gov. Hobbs has proclaimed November 2023 as Arizona Leafy Greens month. This is the 11h annual celebration and during that time Arizona farmers have produced more than 99 billion servings of lettuce (based on the average production of 9 billion servings per year).
Throughout November, Arizona LGMA is partnering with Yuma Fresh Produce Council to celebrate through a variety of outreach activities. The two organizations will have a booth at the Yuma Farmer’s Market Nov. 18 and 19. And on social media, food influencers Kristen Carlie of Camelback Nutrition and Megan Crivelli (The Produce Nerd) will help to spread the world about Arizona’s contributions to the food supply.
Farmer influencer Jon Dinsmore already shared the farming aspect of Arizona leafy greens, and Ramiro Ruiz Jr. (Ram628) will help to share his perspective as a harvest machinery mechanic. The celebration also includes contests and giveaways on Instagram and Facebook.