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Pasadena History: Farming Struggles in the 1930s

Farming was a way of business in Pasadena for 150 years but the industry changed when southern states started shipping in fruits and vegetables.

Here’s your weekly dose of some Pasadena history thanks to The Pasadena Peninsula by Isabel Shipley Cunningham.

When local farmers had trouble supplying certain fruits and vegetables, trucks from southern states traveled to Pasadena to offer an additional supply. This began to hurt the profits of local farmers.

"Farming has been the lifeblood of the Pasadena peninsula for 150 years, but the thirties were a difficult time time for farmers," wrote Cunningham. "People did not have money to buy luxuries like strawberries, melons and peaches.

"Anne Arundel farmers always had received their highest prices for the first of each crop because customers had waited almost a year for garden-fresh peas, beans, tomatoes and fruit.

"During the thirties, refrigerated trucks from the Carolinas and Georgia began to bring fruits, and vegetables to the Baltimore market before those crops ripened here. Local farmers then received lower prices for their produce.

"After planting, cultivating, harvesting, and marketing crops, a farmer might find that he had loss instead of a profit at the end of the year."

Check back next Wednesday for more Pasadena history. For a complete listing of all Tidbits of History columns, please click here.

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