Pang Chang
6 Images

Fruit trees for the future

Pang Chang on his 14-acre farm near Fresno. In a different country and in different language, his father told him that if he wanted to survive year-to-year, grow vegetables. But for long-term fortune, plant trees. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
In the flat, open Central Valley, where the summers burn and the winters can bring freezing snaps, Chang grows mangoes, papayas, 20 varieties of guava — some never before cultivated in the U.S. — and jujubes (also called Chinese dates, which are honey-sweet fruit little known outside Asian communities). (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Brothers Houa Yang, left, and Xiong Yang carry buckets to pick fresh jujubes on Pang Chang’s 15-acre farm. The Yangs are picking the fruit to send to Hmong relatives in Minnesota. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
To walk Pang Chang’s orchard is to enter a dense, glossy, green world. There is a thick hush, the air as fruit-scented as a shop selling body lotions. Snaking up and circling the tree trunks are vines, lemon grass and herbs that have no name outside the Hmong language. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Pang Chang and his wife, May, pack fruit. Every day, Chang and his wife tend their 14 acres. Usually it’s just the two of them. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Pang Chang’s father passed this advice to his son: Raise vegetables for year-to-year living, trees for longer-term wealth, and good children to be rich in your old age. Chang and his wife have 12 children. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)