This book takes the reader on a journey through all four seasons on one family's peach and raisin farm. I have an entirely new respect an admiration for the life of a farmer. I never quite understood the extraordinary resources invested in growing a crop that have absolutely no guarantee of return. Rains, frosts, excessive heat, lack of laborers ,,, Even a great harvest that consequently increases more supply than meets actual demand. Thank God for farmers who view their efforts as a vocation and lifestyle, not a lucrative career. I joined the Food Co-op while reading this book, desiring more farm-to-table meals in my community.
Poetic, measured, inspiring... Masumoto tells the story of his organic peach farm in California's Central Valley over the cycle of a full year. Epitaph for a Peach centers around Masumoto's quest to save an orchard of Sun Crest peaches. A very flavorful peach that is several generations old in genetic terms, the Sun Crest lacks the appearance and the travel-hardiness of newer varieties, and as a result becomes more difficult each year to sell to the marketplace.
Masumoto beautifully describes the ecosystem of an organic farm with a keen eye for observing the wildflowers, insect life, birds, and animals that all contribute to the success (or failure) of the farm and to the peace, contentment and enjoyment of the farmer and his family.
For readers interested in the locavore movement, Masumoto provides a beautiful story of a year in the life of an organic peach and the challenges that drove the shift from small family farms to large corporate operations. His commitment to saving his delicious peaches, even when common sense would suggest he do otherwise, is inspirational.
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