Persevering and Growing on the Farm

Farmer David "Mas" Masumoto Takes Questions in the Green Room

David “Mas” Masumoto operates an 80-acre peach, nectarine and grape farm near Fresno. He has written several books about life on a farm and his organic farming techniques are used at farms across the country. Before participating on a panel about the importance of trees in life and art, he took questions in our Green Room.

Q. What would your job be if it wasn’t what you’re doing now?
A. I think it would be taking care of old folks.

Q. What was the last great book that you read?
A. I’m reading it. David Brooks’ new book, The Social Animal. And I love it because he’s a serious columnist and this one talks about emotions and relationships.

Q. What do you wake up to?
A. I wake up to birds singing.

Q. What is your favorite city on Earth?
A. Ironically, Tokyo, one of the biggest cities and here I live on a farm.

Q. What would you eat for your last meal?
A. It’d have to be some peaches that we’ve grown.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
A. It sounds kind of odd, but it was purge the negatives, particularly friends who are negative.

Q. What surprises you about your life right now?
A. That it just continues to evolve and grow.

Q. Do you have a favorite word?
A. It’s a Japanese word called gaman. It means perseverance, and it’s what’s happening in Japan right now with the earthquake. And it’s the whole theme of farming and working and working and life. You just persevere.

Q. What do you find beautiful?
A. I find beautiful the intersection between the natural world and the human world. And there’s a tension there but I love that.

Q. Where do you go to be alone?
A. I just hide on the farm. I don’t take any electronic equipment out there and for hours I’m disconnected and totally connected at the same time.

To read more about the panel in which Mas participated, click here.

*Photo by Aaron Salcido.