Art WorkI Love Del Mar


Since November of 1983 the Ukegawa Brothers have been cultivating several hundred acres of tomatoes in the Carmel Valley area, east of Del Mar.

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Landowners were generally eager to lease their land to the growers, assuming that clearing the chaparral would help pave the way for development. Local residents, however, repeatedly complained about noise, erosion, hordes of undocumented workers, and illness caused by the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides. The heavy use of pesticides eventually forced one couple living closest to the fields to leave their home. Their dogs had lost their fur and one morning the white powder which covered their house was so thick that they lay paralyzed until a neighbor dragged them out and drove them to the hospital. When confronted, the Ukegawa Brothers held a meeting, assuring local residences that proper precautions were being followed and that the pesticides were harmless anyway--"even safe to drink."
The tomato crop planted that summer was due to be harvested in late fall. But because of a bumper crop of crop of tomatoes in Florida and Mexico, the price of fruit dropped dramatically and it became unprofitable for the Ukegawa Brothers to harvest most of their crop. "It happened to every tomato grower in California," said Pete MacKauf, Ukagawa Brother's general manager, "Now they (the local residents) have experienced the dilemmas and frustrations of the farmer."

Toned and hand colored photos, 16"x20." In the book and installation version this text is presented on cards below the photgraphs with an additional story on the other side of the cards.