Categories: Food+Drink

Apples: Kiyokawa Family Orchards

written by Lynne Curry

photos by Blaine Franger


ON A DRY, CLEAR DAY IN THE Hood River Valley, Randy Kiyokawa steps from his blue Subaru to the fresh soil of his newest orchard. In the sky just above the cap on Kiyokawa’s head, Mt. Hood looks close enough to climb. The youthful-looking fifty-one-year-old orchardist could be mistaken for a hiker. Instead, he has arrived to oversee the planting of 4,000 seedlings at the timberline of one of the highest orchards in the valley at 2,200 feet. It was sure to lure bears and elk, but, aided by the warmth of the nearby Cloverdale lava beds, it would likely produce late-season fruit.

This was not the first time this third-generation grower had defied tradition.

The youngest of five, Kiyokawa grew up on his family’s fruit orchard in Parkdale. Japanese custom dictated that, as the only son, it was his land to in- herit. Despite what they say about the apple not falling far from the tree, Kiyokawa did not intend to follow his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.


His grandfather, Riichi Kiyokawa, emigrated from a town near Hiroshima, Japan to Sacramento before working the lumberyard in Dee, Oregon. For his labors clearing lands, in 1911 he received a land claim. He farmed until World War II, when the 1942 Exclusion Order forced all Japanese into internment camps. The whole family was relocated to Tule Lake near Klamath Falls. Kiyokawa’s grandfather was the camp’s “G-man,” or garbage collector. There Kiyokawa’s father, Mamoru, met his mother, Michiko.


Share
Published by
admin

Recent Posts

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

interview by Sheila Miller Kim Cooper Findling and her daughter, 14-year-old Libby Findling, seem to have pulled off a near-impossible…

3 weeks ago

An architect and interior designer fashion a modern Tetherow home befitting the high desert

written by Melissa Dalton In this house, the formality of a traditional enclosed entryway is a thing of the past.…

4 weeks ago

Summit Arts Center’s creativity stems from a desire to preserve history in Government Camp

written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Daniel Stark Most people head to Mount Hood for the epic skiing and hiking,…

4 weeks ago

A solar apiary combines solar power and pollination

written by James Sinks Honeybees dance and dip among the lightly shaded wildflowers in this patch of Rogue Valley farmland,…

4 weeks ago

New Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett seeks to broaden marketing and season

What I'm Workin On interview by Sheila G. Miller The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced earlier this year that its new…

4 weeks ago

My Workspace — Blue Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center

Rehabilitating wildlife is a way of life for this former vet tech written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Joni Kabana…

4 weeks ago