Thursday, January 17, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

The Militant finds himself in Orange County this week (he'll explain exactly why on Friday - yes an Angeleno needs an explanation as to why they have to go to the OC). But one of the neatest sights to behold the Militant's eyes is the apparently stalwart 56-acre Fujishige farm, which is not only one of the last visible vestiges of Orange County's agricultural past, but a testament to immigrant American history (back then, immigrant families not only worked in the farm, they owned it too).

Started decades ago by brothers Hiroshi and Masao Fujishige, they were among many Japanese American farms dotting the Orange County landscape in the mid-20th century. But brothers' children sold most of the farm to the Walt Disney Company in 1998. The fate of the farm was in question following the opening of nearby Disney's California Adventure in 2001 but shifting expansion plans and economic conditions have kept the farm intact.

Here, in the large strawberry field along Harbor Blvd., a close-to-ripe berry grows (pictured left). How wonderful is it to see a beautiful large green pasture amongst the theme parks, hotels and convention facilities in Anaheim? Especially on a beautiful, sunny Winter day with the snow-capped Mt. Baldy looming boldly in the horizon?

Across Convention Way, there's a produce stand run by the family, selling the farm's fruits of its labor, though it was closed when the Militant passed by there today.

The Militant hopes for a(n) (un-) real Disney ending, that the farm eventually outlasts The Mouse's plans - a berry enduring endeavor, indeed.


LA Farm Woman said...

I love this place, it's one of two great places in Orange County still left, the other is Tanaka Farms in Irvine, where you can actually still ride around the farm and pick your own strawberries,

We also still have a few left here in LA, namely Forneris Farms in Mission Hills,, and Tapia Brothers in Encino.

If you are interested in other LA farms, let me know, that's why I started my blog in November.

Anonymous said...

Technically, the farmworkers' children owned the farms. There were these "Alien Land Laws" that you should look up.

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