Sunday, February 28, 2016

Yuma, Arizona

Yuma, Arizona, has been a pleasant surprise for us. Before arriving here, I had images of a hot, barren desert in my mind. Sure, it does get hot here in the summer, and it is surrounded by desert, but it is anything but barren.

Almost 100,000 people call Yuma home. And if you throw in all the neighboring communities, the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area is easily twice that size. It is a very progressive community with fine shopping and good restaurants.

I was really surprised by all the crops grown here. Lettuce is a huge winter crop. Lemon groves are everywhere. We also saw cabbage, peanuts, other citrus groves, and various other crops. Numerous large canals crisscross the area, feeding smaller canals that flood fields with life giving water. I do not know the source of the water, but it is vitally important to this area.

One of the large canals in the area. I don't recall what is being grown on the right. To the left is a lemon grove.

A lemon Grove with one or two other crops in front.

Close up of some lemon trees. Click the picture to enlarge it and you should be able to see some lemons.

We visited a the Arizona Market Place one day. It is the largest outdoor market place in Arizona. Everything you could want was sold there, such as clothes, tools, kitchen tools, even RVs. We bought some fresh locally grown produce.

Arizona Market Place

We visited a place called Martha's Gardens one day. It sits in the middle of a date farm. We had heard of "date shakes" since arriving in the area, so we had to try one. It was thick, rich, and delicious. We picked up a bag of pitted Medjool dates. We've enjoyed dates since our days living in the Middle East. We like to slice dates in half lengthwise, then stuff them with cream cheese. It's a great snack.

Store at Martha's Gardens.

Date trees at Martha's  Gardens

More date trees at Martha's Gardens with some rugged mountains as a backdrop.

Yuma is a haven for winter visitors, especially those in RVs. Many come here year after year to avoid cold weather elsewhere. They get to play golf here all winter, enjoy the out of doors, eat in some very good restaurants, and take things easy in a relatively relaxed environment.

And there is much more to Yuma, but in 3 days this is about all we could do?

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