Mott Family Farm

  (Salesville, Ohio)
Choosing the Simple Life
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Back to My Roots

If I look just two generations back, I'd find my roots planted firmly on a farm. My grandfather left Japan in the early 1900's, sold into slavery to South America. Through an amazing chain of events he eventually made his way (escaped) to Orange County, California back when it was still orange groves and farmland. He was a successful berry grower alongside neighbor Mr. Knott, of the now-famous Knott's Berry Farm. When the depression hit, he moved his wife and newborn son (my father) to farmland outside of Chicago, growing for a Japanese landlord and Asian markets. He eventually grew peppermint and spearmint for entrepreneurs such as Mr. Wrigley and was savvy enough to eventually purchase his own piece of Indiana soil. During World War II, his land and family were "under surveillance" by the US government, but because of the good word of neighbors and the white community around them, they did not lose their farm or possessions, as did their West Coast Japanese cousins. 

Today, my uncle still lives and farms on that land--and my cousin, Beth, grows organically and sells at the Chicago Green City Market. And I realize that even though I was raised in the city and love the city, I am essentially truly returning to my roots as we make our living off the land. I hope that one day my grandchildren would tell such grand, illustrious stories as I have been able to tell from generations past.

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