Some years ago, Californian farmer, Mas Masumoto faced a life changing decision – the heritage peach trees his father had planted were still producing beautiful, juicy peaches but they weren’t the perfect looking red variety the supermarkets wanted. A bulldozer arrived to rip them out, but at the last moment, Mas had a change of heart and kept them.
Instead of going down the well-trodden commercial route of chemicals and uniformity, Mas embraced the food movement, converting his farm to organic and reaching out to farmers markets to showcase the age old flavour and quality of his peaches instead.
Today, the farm is not only known across California for the quality of its fruit but thanks to a variety of water saving techniques and clever pest control methods, Mas’s farm was able to withstand the recent Californian drought better than most of his neighbours. “Organic farming is based on the ability to adapt, whereas industrial agriculture is based on control,” he says.
Photos: Carolyn Drake