Vernon Takeshita

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Japanese American National Museum Magazine

America’s Strawberry: Fruit of Our Labor

Think of a bright red, plump strawberry, its juicy sweetness dancing on your tongue, filling up your senses. Now think of having to do without the delicious treat. Indeed, there were times in the history of the California strawberry industry when the whole enterprise seemed ready to collapse.

The fact that the industry thrives today is a testament to the hard work of its practitioners, a group which includes many Japanese Americans.

Strawberries have been farmed in the United States since the mid-19th century, but they did not flourish in California. However, for the pioneers who dared to grow strawberries ...

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