Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies
By David Mas Masumoto
This book opens with the depiction of a stroke the author’s father suffered while working on their farm. It transitions into a meditation on the growing of food and expands to include Masumoto’s awareness of the traditions passed down within his family. Masumoto is a third generation Japanese American farmer. After going to college he returned to the family farm in central California and worked alongside his father learning how to farm. He and his father gradually changed the style of farming they practiced from the traditional chemical dependent model to organic. They currently raise organic peaches and grapes.
The book is organized in a series of sections that deal with his father’s recovery. He writes about the lessons he has learned through the difficulties inherent in the healing process and the challenges of daily life as a farmer. He thoughtfully discusses his realizations about how the farm and his father must be revitalized and changed in ways that maintain both their integrity and values.
Masumoto has written for local California newspapers and published other books. This is his most personal. Others include: Epitaph for a Peach, Harvest Son, Four Seasons in Five Senses.