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K.3.3 Farmers' stand

Photographed are two Japanese farmers holding boxes of tomatoes at farmers stand. A photograph from "Dorothy Ai Aoki photo album" (csudh_oki_0300), page 2.
Between 1930 and 1939
Photographic Print
Farmers' stand, 1930-1939. Gerth Archives & Special Collections, California State University, Dominguez Hills, Okine Collection. https://cdm16855.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p16855coll4/id/13834/rec/5.

Teachers will orally lead a primary source investigation to support student reading, analysis, and interpretation: What do you see? What are the details? Who or what is in the picture? What do you think is happening in this picture? What actions are taking place? Who do you think created the photograph? Why? Is this work you know something about? (Sentence starters are provided with this lesson’s literacy support.)

The description of the photo is “Photographed are two Japanese farmers holding boxes of tomatoes at farmers stand. A photograph from ‘Dorothy Ai Aoki photo album’ (csudh_oki_0300), page 2.”

Small family farms existed all over California before housing subdivisions and other industries began to replace the farms. There were many Japanese American farmers in California before World War II, including the Santa Clara Valley, the Central Valley, and throughout Los Angeles County. Some of the farmers owned their land while others leased their land because government policies prohibited the sale of land to foreign-born residents, particularly nonwhite locals. Many of these family farms were lost after Executive Order 9066 forced the Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II.

This photograph demonstrates both the hard work that farming demands and that people from many backgrounds were farming in California in the 1920s and 1930s. You may help students connect by asking them if they have ever seen people unloading trucks or groceries at their local market or if they have ever visited a farmers’ market in their community.