The project farm was the largest employer of evacuees at the center. Vegetables were produced in abundance at the farm as well as alfalfa, corn and sorghum for the 1,000 head of hogs, 800 head of cattle and calves, and 16,000 chicken which the camp owned. The farm embraces 4,095 acres on the XY Ranch and 5,688 acres on the Koen Ranch. Of this acreage almost 6,000 acres was under irrigation.
The Japanese were able to grow many crops in the area which had previously never been grown. Such crops included head-lettuce, celery, spinach, lima beans, and onions. Many of the local farmers had predicted that the Japanese would not be able to raise enough food to self-sustain the camp. Not only did the Japanese produce enough too feed Amache, but sixteen railroad cars of vegetables were shipped out of Colorado to other centers (Holsinger 1960: 81). "Local farmers were so impressed by the horticultural feats performed at the Amache farm and exhibited each fall after harvest at a special camp bazaar that many offered to go into partnership with the evacuee farmers" (Lurie 1990: 74-75). The crops harvested at the Amache farm in 1943 was valued at $190,00 with the cost of production being less than $50,000 (WRA 1944: 27).
Several times Amache laborers have alleviated severe crisis in the Colorado agriculture industry that resulted from labor shortages. Shortly after the arrival of the evacuees sugar beet farmers asked for the help of evacuees in order to help harvest the crop. The evacuees were able to harvest 65,300 tons of sugar beets which was important in light of the relative scarcity of sugar during the war (Schwartz 1979: 26).
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