During the 1980s, supermarkets stopped purchasing peaches from Mas Masumoto’s 80-acre organic fruit farm in Fresno, California. His heirloom peaches were deemed “too small,” they said.
He considered ripping out the trees to replant them with more commercially accepted varieties. In “Epitaph for a Peach,” an essay published in the Los Angeles Times, he asked why “no one wants a peach variety with a wonderful taste.”
He got an answer. Many of them, in fact—an outpouring that encouraged Masumoto to keep his trees and explore other venues for his peaches. His fruit went on to become a hit at local farmers markets and restaurants. And his perseverance has stirred his 31-year-old daughter to work alongside her parents and grandparents to continue the family tradition.
Large-scale, industrial agriculture is often held up as the solution for feeding the world’s growing population. But small farms—with about 25 acres or less—along with family-run operations like Masumoto’s produce over 70 percent of the world’s food.