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
Mas Masumoto is an organic peach and grape farmer and the author of eleven
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. His newest books include Changing Season, A
Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm (2016, Heyday Books) and A Sense of Yosemite
(2016 with Nancy Robbins, photographer, Yosemite Conservancy).
A feature documentary, “Changing Season on the Masumoto Family Farm,” about the
theme of succession on a family farm, was featured at film festivals in 2015-16 and was
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 Central Valley Community Foundation and is the Chair of 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 (Mas is married to Marcy Masumoto,
EdD, and they have a daughter, Nikiko, 32, and a son, Korio, 26.
Biography – Long Version
David Mas Masumoto is an organic peach, nectarine, and grape farmer and the author of six
major books including Wisdom of the Last Farmer (Free Press/Simon and Schuster
2009), Heirlooms (2007) and Letters to the Valley (2004) published by Heyday Books.
His previous books include Four Seasons in Five Senses, Things Worth Savoring
(2003, W.W. Norton), Harvest Son, Planting Roots in American Soil (1998, W.W.
Norton) and Epitaph For A Peach: Four Seasons on My Family Farm (1995,
HarperCollins). He, along with his wife, Marcy, and daughter, Nikiko, published a family
farm cookbook The Perfect Peach in May, 2013 with Ten Speed. His newest books
include Changing Season, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm (2016, Heyday
Books) and A Sense of Yosemite (2016 with Nancy Robbins, photographer, Yosemite
A feature documentary film entitled “Changing Season” is about their organic farm,
their peaches and the food world, the workings of a family on the land – while examining
the theme of succession on a farm and was featured at numerous film festivals and was
broadcast nationally on PBS, in May, 2016.
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 is currently working with his daughter, Nikiko, who is taking over
the family farm.
Masumoto is currently a columnist for The Fresno Bee and the Sacramento Bee and
he has written for New York Times Magazine, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. He
was a contributing editor of Organic Life, a Rodale publication. 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
and a Chinese edition in 2011.
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.
Wisdom of the Last Farmer was honored as “Best Environmental Writing in 2009”
by National Resources Defense Council.
The Perfect Peach was selected by USA Today as one of the 10 best summer
cookbooks in 2013 and was chosen by Oprah as one of the best cookbooks in June,
Changing Season, co-written with his daughter Nikiko Masumoto, was awarded a
bronze medal by the Independent Publisher Books Awards in 2017.
Masumoto currently serves on the board of the Public Policy Institute of California
and was elected Chair in 2016. In addition, he serves on the board of the Central Valley
Community Foundation. He was a member of the James Irvine Foundation Board of
Directors from 2002-2014. 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 2013, President Obama appointed Masumoto the National Council on the Arts,
the board for the National Endowment for the Arts.
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. He was a participant in Key West Literary Seminar in 2011 and Carmel
Ideas Festival in 2010.
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,” Martha
Stewart Magazine featured the Masumoto family farm in summer of 2010 and PBS
“California Gold” broadcast a feature on the family in 2010.
In 2018, Masumoto was honored by the Rodale Institute, winning their “Organic
Pioneer” award. He also 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 (64) and his wife, Marcy Masumoto, EdD., have two children, Nikiko (32)
and Korio (26). They reside in an 100 year old farmhouse surrounded by their organic
orchards and vineyards just outside of Del Rey, California which is 20 miles south of
One final note, he goes by the name “Mas.”
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 2017, she and Brynn Saito co-founded the Yonsei Memory Project. Through art and creative engagement, the Yonsei Memory Project awakens the archives of Japanese American history to foster understanding, healing, and justice. 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 co-wrote, Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm published by Heyday in 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.