Edible Monterey Bay

IN THE FIELDS: FARM WORKERS

A photo essay

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JIM KASSON

A big part of Edible Monterey Bay’s mission is to tell the stories of the people who grow and harvest our region’s food.

Elsewhere in this issue we’ve interviewed several farmers, including a vintner, a couple of abalone producers and three vegetable growers who got their start through the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA), which helps former farm workers and other low income people acquire and run their own farms. One farmer, Jamie Collins, wrote about salt foraging.

Here, the magazine pays tribute to the thousands of farm workers in our area, which is believed to host the largest concentration of such workers in the country.

Farm workers labor without the same legal protections as other workers, often under arduous conditions and frequently with exposure to toxic pesticides. Farm workers with no legal status in the U.S. lead an especially precarious existence.

The photographs in this essay were created by Carmel Valley artist Jim Kasson as part of his series “This Green Growing Land.” Aiming to create archetypal images that represent all farm workers, he used stylization and abstraction in the images. Kasson achieved this effect by taking the photos from a moving car and using panning to focus on some aspects of the scenes he portrays, and blur others. He then printed the photographs in muted pastels.

Edible Monterey Bay is very grateful to have the opportunity to publish some of the images in this series, which can be found in its entirety at www.kasson.com.

—Sarah Wood

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