History


Harry’s Berries is a family farm established in 1967 by Harry Iwamoto. It is now operated by his daughter and son-in-law, Molly and
Rick Gean. All of their adult children are actively involved in running the family farm.

Our farm is located in Oxnard, California, on the edge of the Oxnard Plain, along the banks of the Santa Clara River. We grow unusual
specialty varieties of strawberries and other fruits and vegetables which we sell exclusively at certified farmers’ markets in Ventura, Santa
Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties. We farm using only organic practices, though we are not certified due to the costs and paperwork
involved. We have not used methyl bromide fumigation or any other synthetic chemicals since 1998.

Molly’s family’s agricultural roots run deep. Both of her parents’ families farmed for many generations in their ancestral Japan. The family
immigrated to the United States in 1958. Her father, Harry, worked as a gardener in the Los Angeles area for nine years before he was
able to resume farming. In 1967, the family moved to Oxnard to grow strawberries. His first field was next to where Costco stands today,
along the 101 Freeway. He sold his berries through the usual wholesale shipping channels as well as at a roadside stand.

We started selling at our local farmers’ market in 1986. They began as a supplementary sales outlet but we steadily expanded our
farmers’ market business over the following years. 1993 marked a turning point for our farm. We lost our lease on our 100 acre farm to a
water conservation project that turned it into a reservoir. We decided to scale down our acreage and stop our wholesale shipping. Over
the years our farmers’ market sales had steadily risen even as our wholesale business floundered. In wholesale, the price we were paid
was often less than it cost to grow and pick. We decided to sell everything we could grow at farmers’ markets where we could cut out
the middle-man and make a decent profit by selling directly to the public.

Sadly, Harry passed away suddenly while we were moving to our new 30 acre farm across the road from his old field. His son, Kaz
Iwamoto and his daughter, Molly Gean and their respective spouses operated the farm together for the next 15 years. In 2008 Kaz and
his wife Yoshiko retired due to health issues. Molly and her husband, Rick, continue farming on 40 acres with their children and
grandchildren.