Peach farmer ‘Mas’ Masumoto talks about farming with ghosts

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The California Report

Mas holds a shovel he likes to use for weeding. "This is my classic shovel," he says, pointing to where there used to be a point. "The land designed it, not me." Photo by Lisa Morehouse.

David “Mas” Masumoto says he farms with ghosts. On his family’s organic peach, nectarine and grape farm south of Fresno, he points out pruning scars from long-time workers, and walks down rows of trees he planted with his father. He says the labor and lessons of his ancestors are in the soil and the grapevines and orchards, and he’s passing these on to the next generations.

Mas is an author, too, who has delved into the stories of his farm and family in more than 10 books. In his latest, Secret Harvests, Mas writes about the shock of a newly uncovered family secret.

Matsumoto in an orchard he planted with his father. Photo by Lisa Morehouse.

I’ve visited the Masumoto farm for years, picking luscious peaches and nectarines in summer. This time, I returned to hear what Mas learned about this hidden story, and how he rediscovered just how resilient his farming family is. Listen to The California Report Magazine to hear Masumoto weave the tale.

Listen to the story on The California Report

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