CITY NEWS SERVICE
TORRANCE — After 62 years of tilling the soil at Torrance Municipal Airport, the Ishibashi family is pulling up the roots at the small farm and produce stand it has operated on Crenshaw Boulevard, it was reported Oct 30.
Vegetables have been grown by the family of farmers and sold to generations of South Bay residents, many of whom stopped by to say goodbye and sign a guest book, the Daily Breeze reported. Monday was the stand’s last day.
Tom Ishibashi took over the operation from a cousin in 1964, and he died in May, sealing the stand’s fate. Family members are no longer able to spend the long days growing tomatoes, corn, pumpkin and other fresh greens in the soil next to the airport.
The newspaper reported that the Ishibashi stand is one of the last connections between the present age and the heritage of thousands of Japanese American truck farmers who settled in the South Bay, and then resettled there following internment in World War II.
The closure “is like a death in the family,” lamented one long-time customer, Vicki Lawrence, to the Daily Breeze. “We’ve been buying produce from the Ishibashis for 40 years.”