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Field tours, specialty dinners showcase agricultural abundance
YUMA, ARIZONA – They farm in the desert? Yes, they do, so much that this sunny corner of Arizona is North America’s winter vegetable capital, supplying more than 90% of the leafy greens consumed from sea to shining sea from November through March each year.
To showcase this green bounty, Yuma Visitors Bureau in 2010 planted the seeds for an “ag tourism” program that’s only grown in appeal, with sold-out tours and waiting lists. Tickets for the 2017 harvest of ag tours go on sale Nov. 7.
“Our ag tours are a win-win -- they’ve drawn new visitors and are popular with residents, too,” said Linda Morgan , YVB executive director. “It’s a great fit with Yuma’s sunshine, boundless nature and rich history.”
YVB top crop is a “Field to Feast” tour where visitors start by harvesting their own produce in a special field at the University of Arizona research farm. While they enjoy an insider’s look at Yuma's vast fields from a local grower, culinary students from Arizona Western College turn the fresh-picked veggies into a delicious lunch. The cost is $50 per person and includes lunch and transportation.
For those more interested in what’s on the fork than in the field, YVB also hosts eight Savor Yuma progressive dinner tours, where participants travel to three different restaurants to round out a multi-course meal. Those tickets are $55 per person and went on sale Oct. 17.
Morgan also noted that the dates for the dinner and field tours have been planned so out-of-towners can combine both experiences in one trip.
“It’s a great way to see a different side of Yuma – and meet a bunch of nice people, too,” she said.
YVB also hosts four Date Night dinners with Bard Valley Date Growers Association and Imperial Date Gardens. These gourmet feasts feature dates in every course and are served under the stars in a date grove. Tickets for Date Nights are $70 per person and also go on sale Nov. 7
Through the winter months, Yuma also serves up an array of farmers’ markets and cooking classes, while local date groves offer the opportunity to sample the “fruit of kings” in many forms, including date milkshakes. For more information, call 800-293-0071 or download or browse our Visitors Guide at VisitYuma.com.
With rich soil, abundant water and more than 350 days of sunshine a year, Yuma enjoys the country’s longest growing season and:
- Produces a $3.2 billion economic agricultural output, more than 1/3 of the total for Arizona
- Is number 1 in the state and number 3 in the nation for vegetable production
- Grows more than 90 percent of the nation’s leafy vegetables from November-March
- Is one of the world’s top producers of gourmet Medjool dates
- Is top exporter of durum wheat to Italy, where it’s used for premium pasta
- Is Arizona’s top producer of lemons, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon and canteloupe
- Grows more than 175 different crops and seeds
Tickets for YVB’s 2017 Field to Feast tours go on sale in Nov. 7, 2016. Buy tickets online at VisitYuma.com or call 800-293-0071 or 928-783-0071. Scheduled tour dates are as follows:
Field to Feast tours (hands-on taste of farming with field-fresh lunch):
Jan. 11, 12, 18, 19, 21, 25
Feb. 2, 4, 8, 9, 11, 15, 18
March 1, 2, 4
Tickets for Savor Yuma progressive dinner tours go on sale Oct. 17 for these dates:
Nov. 10; Jan. 5 & 17; Feb. 7 & 23; March 2, 14 & 30.
Date Night tickets go on sale Nov. 7 for these dates:
Jan 13, Feb, 10, Feb. 24. and March 10
The Yuma Visitors Bureau is always happy to assist members of print, digital and broadcast media, either on assignment or pitching an idea with a Yuma angle.
Media Relations Specialist Ann Walker can suggest itineraries and facilitate visits, or provide you with the inspired details to help nail down an assignment. We pride ourselves on always going "above and beyond."
You can download background and "anytime" materials below; dated press releases appear "most recent first" at left. Call or email us for photos and B-roll video.
YVB periodically hosts group and individual press trips, and is glad to partner with other Arizona or California DMOs to coordinate a visit to several regions.
For more information, contact Ann Walker at 928-376-0100 (office), 928-210-9044 (cell) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your interest in the Yuma area.