Dad's Asparagus Knife

Besides that large cane cutter hanging in the tool shed there was another tool he used, it was called an Aparagus Knife. From what my mom told me, he went from farm to farm searching for work in central California.


A variety of immigrant farm workers harvested asparagus through the years, Chinese, Japanese, and Mexicans but immigrants from the Philippines provided most of the skilled labor during the County's heyday of asparagus. In 1930, more than 350 asparagus camps with about seven thousand harvest workers dotted the San Joaquin Delta. My father was among them.

Table of Contents

There was animosity towards the Filipino new arrivals. Plantation and farm owners used Filipinos to break possible strikes by other immigrants that were asking to be paid more.

Most were men and out numbered the Filipina women that immigrated as well. Soon Filipino men would pursue white women and local white men disapproved. There were riots throughout California