By David Mas Masumoto – Los Angeles Times – “On the Side” May 20, 2009
Summer approaches with the promise of fat, juicy peaches, sweet grapes and a farmer’s angst.
On my 80-acre organic peach, nectarine and raisin farm in the San Joaquin Valley, as the days grow longer, the opportunities grow greater to worry about the weather, markets and growing conditions. I begin to doubt myself, which compels me to go out and check the fields one more time in the evening, to make sure the irrigation water reaches the ends of rows and thoroughly soaks roots or to reexamine the fruits to make sure they remain safe on the tree and haven’t aborted with an abnormal April heat wave. My anxiousness makes me a better farmer, but I don’t sleep well at night.
As the weather changes, my anxiety increases. Read the rest of this article