Masumoto Family Farm
The first acres of the Masumoto Family Farm were purchased in 1948 by Takashi “Joe” Masumoto. With family labor and a stubborn resilience, the Masumotos enriched the soil and planted roots. The farm is now 80 acres of Certified Organic land, producing peaches, nectarines, and grapes for raisins each year. If you want to know more about what we grow, check out Our Fruit.
David Mas Masumoto
David Mas Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of nine books including: Epitaph for a Peach, Wisdom of the Last Farmer, Heirlooms, Letters to the Valley, Four Seasons in Five Senses, Harvest Son, Country Voices, and Silent Strength. He, along with his wife, Marcy, and daughter, Nikiko, published a family farm cookbook, The Perfect Peach in 2013. A feature documentary, Changing Season, about the theme of succession on a family farm, is being featured at film festivals and nationally broadcast by PBS in May, 2016.
A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows organic peaches, nectarines, and raisins on an 80 acre farm south of Fresno, Calif. Masumoto is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. His writing awards include Commonwealth Club Silver medal, Julia Child Cookbook award, the James Clavell Literacy Award and a finalist in the James Beard Foundation awards. Wisdom of the Last Farmer was honored as “Best Environmental Writing in 2009” by National Resources Defense Council. The Perfect Peach was named by USA Today as one of best summer cookbooks in 2013. Masumoto received the “Award of Distinction” from UC Davis in 2003 and the California Central Valley “Excellence in Business” Award in 2007. He is currently a board member of the Fresno Regional Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California. He has served on the and James Irvine Foundation from 2002-2014 and is the former chair of the California Council for the Humanities board. In 2013, President Obama appointed Masumoto the National Council on the Arts, the board for the National Endowment for the Arts. Masumoto (62) is married to Marcy Masumoto, EdD, and they have a daughter, Nikiko, 30, and a son, Korio, 24.
Note: I go by the name “Mas”
Biography – Long Version
A third generation farmer, Masumoto grows certified organic peaches, nectarines, grapes and raisins. He works with his family on their organic 80 acre farm south of Fresno, California and also helps care for his parents who still live on the family farm.
Masumoto is currently a columnist for and The Fresno Bee has written for New York Times Magazine, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. His other books include Silent Strength (1984), Home Bound (1989) and Country Voices, The Oral History of a Japanese American Family Farm Community (1987). He received the James Clavell Japanese American National Literacy Award in 1986.
Epitaph for a Peach won the 1995 Julia Child Cookbook Award in the Literary Food Writing category and was a finalist for the 1996 James Beard Foundation Food Writing Award. It was also received the San Francisco Review of Books Critics’ Choice Award 1995-96. A German translation edition of Epitaph for a Peach was published in 1997.
Harvest Son won a Commonwealth Club of California silver medal for the California Book Awards in 1999 and was a finalist for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop award in New York.
In 2002, Masumoto was appointed to the James Irvine Foundation Board of Directors and served through 2014. He previously served on the Statewide Leadership Council and is currently on the Board of the Public Policy Institute of California. He was a Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Policy Fellow from 2006-2008. Previously, he was appointed to the California Council for the Humanities board in 1994 and served as Co-Chair from 1998 to 2001. He also served on the board of the Campaign for College Opportunity from 2005-2008. He wrote, designed and curated the museum exhibition, “Country Voices, Three Generations of Family Farmers” which appeared at the Fresno Metropolitan Museum (1992) and the Japanese American National Museum (1993) in Los Angeles.
In 2007, Masumoto was awarded a national Food and Society Policy Fellowship from the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, funded by the Kellogg Foundation.
Masumoto has a bachelors degree in sociology from U.C. Berkeley and a masters degree in community development from U.C. Davis and attended International University in Tokyo, Japan.
He has been the key note speaker at many diverse conferences including International Association of Culinary Professionals, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Internationales Literature festival Berlin, Culinary Institute of America, American Association of Museums, American Institute of Wine and Food, Dance USA, Ag. in the Classroom National Conference, Chamber Music Society of America, Calif. Teachers of English and Japanese American National Museum. He also was awarded a Breadloaf Writers Conference fellowship in 1996. He has also visited numerous schools delivering presentations and teaching in classes including guest speaker at U.C Berkeley and U.C. Merced. He was a writer in residence at Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2004.
Feature articles about Masumoto have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine and New York Times. His farm has been featured Sunset, Country Living and Glamour Magazines. He has been on NPR’s All Things Considered and on television as part of the PBS California Heartland and America’s Heartland series as well as the nationally aired PBS documentary “Ripe for Change.”
Masumoto won the University of California, Davis “Award of Distinction” from the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in 2003, the California Central Valley “Excellence in Business” Award in 2007, and “Steward of Sustainable Agriculture” award from the Ecological Farming Association in 2008. 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, Marcy Masumoto, EdD., have two children, Nikiko and Korio. 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.
Marcy (Thieleke) Masumoto
As co-owner of Masumoto Family Farm for over 30 years, Marcy Masumoto has been responsible for the selection of peach varieties, and the development of recipes and peach products. She is actively involved with management, communications, event planning, and seasonal fieldwork. Every summer, she hand-packs specialty peaches with Nikiko and Korio. She grew up on a family goat dairy and learned how to cook, bake and preserve foods at an early age. Over the years, Marcy has cooked with many varieties of peaches and nectarines, perfecting recipes and methods of working with fresh, tree-ripened peaches and nectarines. A collection of her and Nikiko’s recipes are available in book form in The Perfect Peach: Recipes and Stories from the Masumoto Family Farm (Ten Speed Press, June, 2013). See Marcy’s recipes at this link.
Off the farm, Marcy has worked in the health and education fields, first starting as a nutrition advisor and advancing through management and leadership positions in pubic and nonprofit organizations. She currently works as an Education and Community Engagement consultant. Her most recent employment (2005-15) was as Project Director at the Central Valley Educational Leadership Institute at Fresno State University, focusing on improving education in Central and rural California. December 1, 2012, Marcy began her first term as a Trustee on the board of the Sanger Unified School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public health education with a minor in nutrition from Loma Linda University, a master’s degree in Community Development from UC Davis, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Davis and CSU Fresno. Read about her doctoral research.
Mother of two (Nikiko and Korio) and wife of Mas, Marcy loves living on the farm where she enjoys entertaining and gardening, in addition to cooking in the kitchen of the family’s 95 year-old farmhouse.
Nikiko Masumoto first learned to love food as a young child slurping the nectar of overripe organic peaches on the Masumoto Family Farm. Since then, she has never missed a harvest.
Farmer, artist, and leader, Nikiko works alongside her father to raise organic peaches, nectarines and grapes. She hopes to add another generation’s voice to the story of the Masumoto Family Farm. She calls herself an “agrarian artists” cultivating the richness of life in the Central Valley through farming, food, stories, art, & community.
In 2007 she graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies and in 2011 completed a Master of Arts in Performance as Public Practice at the University of Texas, Austin. She debuted her one-woman show “What We Could Carry” about Japanese American Redress hearings in 2011. In 2012, she started the Valley Storytellers Project whose aim was to create spaces for people to tell stories in and about the Central Valley. Her intellectual & artistic curiosities continue to inspire creations and inquiries into community building, memory, place, public art, justice and healing.
In 2013 she published her first book The Perfect Peach (Ten Speed Press), co-authored with Marcy & David Mas Masumoto. She and Mas have a new book, Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm to be published by Heyday in May/June 2016.
Korio is a student at California State University, Fresno, having graduated from Sanger High School in 2010. He has an AA degree in Sociology from Fresno City College. His favorite part of school is meeting new people and socializing. Through this he has learned to appreciate and support cultural diversity beyond is own multi-faceted identities. Right now he is studying sociology and interested in the field of gerontology. Korio has always helped on the farm, especially during the summer. In his free time, Korio volunteers at Vintage Gardens (assisted living facility) where he visits weekly with his grandmother, and is the family jokester, and currently works for Nisei Farmers’ League.