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Yuma, Arizona - the nation's self-proclaimed winter vegetable capital - is offering a ground-up look at its unique agriculture through an increasing number of agritourism offerings from Yuma Visitors Bureau (YVB).
For example, with the Field to Feast tour, visitors start with a food safety lesson and the chance to harvest produce in a field at the University of Arizona research farm, after which the harvest is turned into a farm-fresh lunch. YVB also offers Farmer to Farmer advanced or technical tours, as well as Savor Yuma culinary tours.
Other options include the new Agri-U five-week program aimed at extended-stay visitors, which includes 10 classroom sessions, a "Feed the Nation" field trip and a culinary demonstration class. Sessions run Jan. 7 - Feb. 9 and Feb. 11 - March 15, with options available for single parts of the program.
It all culminates in the Yuma Lettuce Days festival, held March 9-10 at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park. Lettuce Days features celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations and contests, ice carvers, a farmers' market and salad bar, plus a tasting event showcasing local restaurants. The festival will be headlined by Chef Ben Ford, owner of Ford's Filling Station in Culver City, Calif., and son of actor Harrison Ford.
Yuma Visitors Bureauwww.visityuma.com