Letters to the Valley: A Harvest Of Memories

Paperback, 5 x 7, 244 pages, with color illustrations throughout
ISBN: 978-1-59714-038-6

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Essays from America’s favorite farmer and author

In Letters to the Valley, David Mas Masumoto explores his personal memories of food and place, stories about how our food is grown, who grows it, and the suddenly changing context of family farms. These essays—in the form of letters to friends, his father, his daughter, and others—began as a monthly column for the Fresno Bee, and in them Masumoto tells us what it’s like to sweat for a living; what happens when a lizard crawls up your pant leg; about holiday dinners of glazed ham and stuffed turkey, white rice and green tea; and what it means to be rooted—to be among those who have “addresses that will probably stay the same for the rest of our lives.”


“Written in the form of casual letters from a farmer to members of his family, these finely crafted pieces capture the rhythms of life and work in an orchard, and the interweaving of family and farm over three generations. Masumoto stands in the rich American tradition of agrarians who wield their pens as brilliantly as their farm implements. Letters to the Valley is a delight.”—Michael Pollan, author of The Botany of Desire

About the Author and Illustrator

David Mas Masumoto grows organic peaches and grapes on his family farm in Del Rey, in the San Joaquin Valley of California. He is the author of Harvest Son, Epitaph for a Peach, and Four Seasons in Five Senses. Masumoto has won numerous awards for his writing, some of which has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. More about the author

Doug Hansen has been a Fresno-based illustrator for thirty years. He comes from a family of artists and is an assistant professor in the Department of Art and Design at California State University, Fresno. (from Heyday Books catalogue) More on the artist’s website