With the start of spring comes the end of leafy greens growing season in Arizona. Arizona’s nickname is the Grand Canyon State, but it is also called the Winter Lettuce Capital of the U.S. because local farmers produce 25% of the Nation’s total lettuce production between the months of November and April. During those months it is estimated that Arizona Farmers grow closer to 50% of U.S. lettuce and leafy green vegetables. In the winter the climate is just right for farming lettuce and leafy greens in Arizona, but the hot spring and summer weather requires that farmers take a break.
The 2021-2022 Arizona Leafy Greens Season
Producing nearly one quarter of the national production of lettuce and leafy greens in only six months is no small feat. Farmers, harvesters and shippers are the most vested in the process, but industry providers of things like soil amendments, water treatment, fertilizer and many more play an important role too. Leafy greens farming is big business that generates $2 billion impact in Arizona each year.
Time for a Break
So, what do Arizona farmers and farmworkers do in the Spring and Summer? Some farmers will switch over to warm weather crops like melons, grains and grasses. And some people will take a break to spend time with family and friends. In Yuma, Arizona the summers are incredibly hot with average high temperatures around 108, which means quite a few people will head to the beach in San Diego (only a 3-hour drive) escape the summer heat.
To all those who farm, and all those who work as a part of the Arizona Leafy Greens farming community, we thank you for your hard work this season providing an abundance of nutritious and safe leafy greens.