( Courtesy Farm Fresh Forks )

A partnership between growers and restaurants in Yuma, Ariz., highlights the area as the Winter Vegetable Capital of the World.

Now in its fourth year, the Farm Fresh Forks program features 14 growers whose fresh produce is showcased at eight Yuma restaurants. Chefs use the locally-grown vegetables for recipes during complimentary tastings Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Each restaurant also has its own Vegetable Tasting Event for “veggie happy hours,” according to a release, similar to wine tasting events. Restaurant patrons learn about the companies that grew the vegetables as well.

“Our crops come with stories of multi-generational family farms, the creativity it takes to successfully grow a crop from seed to harvest and the many hours and hands it takes to ensure the entire country has access to fresh, healthy vegetables in a matter of days from harvest,” Cory Mellon, president of the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association, said in the release. “And we couldn’t be happier to partner with chefs who add their culinary creativity, their love for sharing delicious food with their guests and the outlets to reach thousands of consumers and tell our combined story.”

 
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