Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer

Earthy wisdom and real-life stories from an award-winning author

As suburbs swallow more and more rich farmland and reforms change the farming industry, the voices of farmers have never been more important. In his latest collection of essays, David Mas Masumoto reminds us that food remains the cornerstone of our society, even in the twenty-first century. Pervading his essays is a rooted, proud sense of community, family, and craftsmanship, and tales of toil and triumph over the land that produces the food in our groceries, farmers’ markets, and restaurants.

Written in the form of letters, Masumoto’s essays achieve an intimacy uncommon in American literature. Told by a man leading the fabled simple life, this writing speaks eloquently of the need to protect the so-called bread and butter of life—food, family, and community.


“Mas Masumoto's honest and poetic voice informs the reader gently but emphatically about the values we need to create a sustainable society.”

—Alice Waters, executive chef and owner, Chez Panisse


“Masumoto's books reach for truths that transcend the orchard—the honesty of a really good peach that doesn't promise more with its looks than it will deliver on that first bite, the value of a thirty-eight-year-old tree that doesn't produce as much anymore but bears the best-tasting fruit.”

—Julianna Barbassa, Associated Press


About the Artist and Author

David Mas MasumotoDavid Mas Masumoto grows organic peaches and grapes on his family farm in Del Rey, California. He is the author of Harvest Son, Epitaph for a Peach, Four Seasons in Five SensesLetters to the Valley: A Harvest of Memories, and Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer. An active proponent of organic farming, Masumoto has won numerous literary awards. He is also active in foundation work and in the cultural life of California and beyond. Visit his website at www.masumoto.com.
Doug HansenDoug Hansen was born in Fresno, California, and is the eldest of six children in an artistic family. Doug has worked as a Fresno Bee newsroom artist, freelance illustrator, and cartoonist, and he illustrated David Mas Masumoto’s books Letters to the Valley: A Harvest of Memories and Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer, as well as Mother Goose in California and Aesop in California. He teaches rendering and illustration at his alma mater, California State University, Fresno. Visit his website at doughansen-art.com.

Self-portrait by Doug Hansen