Read Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm by David Mas Masumoto Free Online
Book Title: Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm|
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Reader ratings: 4.4
The author of the book: David Mas Masumoto
Date of issue: April 26th 1996
ISBN 13: 9780062510259
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 427 KB
City - Country: No data
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A lovely, meditative little book about the challenges and joys of farming. Masumoto is a third-generation Japanese-American peach and grape farmer in California. The direct impetus for writing this book was the threat of losing his Sun Crest peaches; although the fruit was absolutely delicious, it did not meet the public’s aesthetic standards. Before bulldozing the orchard, he decided to give it one more try – and this time to eschew modern farming methods in favor of a natural approach (cover crops, no pesticides, strategic pruning, etc.).
He takes readers on a quiet journey through a year in the farming life, including the grueling off-season work of preparing the fields and the near-despair of losing a raisin crop to heavy September rainfall. Referring to his father’s experience and to his neighboring farmers’ decisions, he gives a broad picture of the range in practices and how the work has changed over the years. I would highly recommend this to readers of Wendell Berry. I read it very slowly, one chapter or even just one subsection at a time; I think it’s best this way, so you can internalize the rhythms of the year and so that the subject matter never feels repetitive. (My free copy came from the Book Thing of Baltimore.)
“Babies and planting seeds: they demand that you believe in the magic and mystery of life.”
“Farmers fool themselves when they talk about taking land from the wild. Some believe they can outwit nature and grow a lush vineyard in poor soils and on land where vines don’t belong. But I sense that farming is only a temporary claim on a piece of earth, not a right; farmers borrow the land from nature to squeeze out a living.”
“A type of humility marks a real farmer. Those of us who battle nature all year must ultimately accept the hand we’re dealt. We’re cautious even at harvest, privately smiling when we discover that the cards we hold may be OK, inwardly grateful that there hasn’t been a disaster.”
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Read information about the authorDavid "Mas" Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and author of Epitaph for a Peach (1995), which offers a glimpse of life on a family farm in Central California, Letters to the Valley, A Harvest of Memories (2004), Four Seasons in Five Senses, Things Worth Savoring (2003), and Harvest Son, Planting Roots in American Soil (1998). His organic farming techniques have been employed by farmers across the nation.
Masumoto earned his B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.S. in community development 1982 from the University of California, Davis. He is the winner of the UC Davis “Award of Distinction” from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 2003. He was a founding member of California Association of Family Farmers. He has served on the California Tree Fruit Agreement research board and has been a member of the Raisin Advisory Committee research board.
Masumoto and his wife have two children. They reside in an 90 year old farmhouse surrounded by their vineyards and orchards just outside of Del Rey, California which is 20 miles south of Fresno.
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