Family Farm Timeline

Early 1900’s

Grandparents immigrate from Japan

Masumoto’s (father’s side) from Kumamoto, Japan

Sugimoto’s (mother’s side) from Hiroshima, Japan

Families work in the Fresno area

Masumotos often near Selma

Sugimotos in the Fowler area

1942-46

Masumoto/Sugimoto families forced relocation/evacuation to Gila River Relocation Center, located in the deserts of Arizona.

1948

Joe Takashi Masumoto marries Carole Yukino Sugimoto

Buys first property 40 acres of grapes, muscats, plums, peaches and nectarines

1954

Mas born, youngest of three

1960’s

Tak Masumoto and brother Alan Masumoto farm together as partners

1964

Purchase adjoining 40 acre farm from Riffel family. Total 80 acres.

1968

Plant Sun Crest peach orchard (about 3 acres)

1972

Mas runs away from farm to UC Berkeley for college

1974-75

Mas lives in Japan studying and eventually journeying to Kumamoto area to live in the village of his grandparents and work on their rice farm.

1976

Masumoto returns and graduates from UC Berkeley in sociology.

1976 and 78

Rains destroy entire raisin crops

1979-81

Masumoto attends and graduates from UC Davis in the Masters program called Community Development. Meets Marcy while in graduate school.

1981

Mas buys 40 acres from father

1983 Mas marries Marcy Thieleke who grew up on a goat dairy in the high deserts of southern California in Apple Valley. Her parents were from Wisconsin.

1985

Nikiko (a daughter) born in November.

1985

One of the worst years for the small farm – prices extremely low. Mas sells 23 pound boxes of his best peaches for 50 cents/box.

Late 1980’s

Mas begins to farm organically

1987

Mas begins to certify farm as organic with CCOF (Calif Certified Organic Farmers).

1991

Korio (a son) is born in July during record-breaking heat of 100 degree days.

1993

Masumoto family farm sells their best peaches to Chez Panisse.

1995

Masumoto Family Farm fruit label created

1997

Masumoto’s Sun Crest peach nominated to Slow Food Ark of Taste

2004

Begin Elberta Peach Tree Adoption program.

2007

Nikiko Masumoto talks of becoming a farmer and begins her apprenticeship.

2008

Masumoto Family Farm celebrates 40 years of the Sun Crest Peach orchard.