Monday, March 15, 2010

A Detour Through the Lettuce Fields

A lettuce field after the pickers have gone through....

An immature head of lettuce....

From this whole field of growing lettuce ---

Today we went in to Yuma to pick up our General Delivery mail at the post office there. Although Wellton is only about twenty miles away, there is a small range of mountains (the Gila Mountains) in between the two communities. The scenery changes rapidly from farm country in the Dome Valley to desert terrain in the hills.

Our GPS unit had tried to get us to take a back road (Hwy 80) into Wellton when we came instead of I-8, so today we thought we'd go that way in the Toad. Turns out they are re-doing a bridge on that road and you get sent on a detour -- via dirt and gravel roads -- several miles through farm country. The detour took us into an area where iceberg lettuce was being harvested. Machinery with boxes goes through the field followed by the pickers who slice off the lettuce heads, then slice off the outer leaves and hand them into the boxes. (There was a write-up in the Sunday New York Times by a writer who is working with migrant crews -- he says it really looks easy, but is very hard to get the rhythm right and to keep up!)

I don't think I had mentioned Saturday that while we were still setting up at the RV Park here, one of the park residents came by with a box of fresh-picked iceberg lettuce and gave us a head. Iceberg lettuce is apparently having a renewal in favor due to the popularity of lettuce wraps and wedge salads.

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