Changing Season: a Father, a Daughter, a Family Farm


How do you become a farmer? The real questions are: What kind of person do you want to be? Are you willing to change? How do you learn? What is your vision for the future? In this poignant collection of essays, David Mas Masumoto gets ready to hand his eighty-acre organic farm to his daughter, Nikiko, after four decades of working the land. He reflects on topics as far ranging as the art of pruning, climate change, and the prejudice his family faced during and after World War II: essays that, whether humorous or heartbreaking, explore what it means to pass something on. Nikiko’s voice is present too, as she relates the myriad lessons she has learned from her father in preparation for running the farm as a queer mixed-race woman. Both farmers feel less than totally set for the future that lies ahead; indeed, Changing Season addresses the uncertain future of small-scale agriculture in California. What is unquestionable, though, is the family’s love for their vocation- and for each other.


Changing Season is at its heart a love story of duty and honor to both family and the land. Farmer-heroes Mas and Nikiko Masumoto tend to their orchards and each other with equal dedication and tenderness, writing with grit and honesty about the demands of land stewardship and the emotional succession of a family farm.”

— Naomi Starkman, cofounder/editor-in-chief, Civil Eats
“In Changing Season, Mas is now joined by his daughter, Nikiko. Their voices, so perfectly woven together, give us the complete and ever-changing story of a true family farm.”

— Alice Waters



In these winter months, there’s nothing like a good book and a cup of something hot to drink in your hands. Our resident recipe guru Jessica Jones weighs in with some tasty treats that’ll take your book club to the next level. Whether it’s you and your book on the couch or a whole crew of friends: it’s time to celebrate those shortened days with a warm glow from indoors. Check out Jessica’s blog and podcast, Food Heaven Made Easy, an online resource for delicious and nutritious plant-based living. Learn more about Jessica here.

Serves 4 to 6


  • arugula pesto
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 11/2 cups arugula
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing the bread
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 baguette, sliced 3/8 inch thick
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 soft small peaches, peeled, halved,pitted, and cut into wedges 1/4 inch thick
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. To make the pesto, combine the garlic and walnuts in a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add the oil and arugula and continue to pulse until the mixture is evenly moist and spreadable.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. To make the bruschetta, heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft. Set aside.
  6. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill.
  7. When the fire is ready, paint each bread slice on both sides with oil. Arrange the bread on the grill rack and toast, turning once, for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (If you do not have a grill, toast the bread on both sides in a preheated broiler until golden brown.)
  8. When the bread slices are ready, let them cool enough to handle, then rub the smashed garlic cloves on both sides of each slice.
  9. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the pesto on one side of each bread slice. (You will need only 1/2 cup pesto; cover and store any remaining pesto in the refrigerator for another use.)
  10. Top each slice with some of the caramelized onion, 1 or 2 peach slices, a little Parmesan, and a sprinkle of salt.

*CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Peach by Marcy Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto, and David Mas Masumoto (Ten Speed Press, 2013). Photography (c) 2013 by Staci Valentin

Serves 6 to 8 (Makes about 6 cups)

Inspiration occasionally manifests itself in a mad scientist sort of fashion. This recipe is proof of that. I locked myself in the kitchen with a basket of vegetables from the refrigerator and a bucket of peaches until I came up with an exciting peach dish. With wild determination and some heat, a peach version ofSpain’s popular summer soup was born. I remember when my mom came home that day and I rushed out to greet her with a huge spoonful of my recent creation: a willing tester, my mom’s eyes lit up with her first gulp. The experiment worked! Enjoy this savory soup ice cold as a starter or as a refresher between courses.


  • 6 soft to gushy peaches (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, pitted, and quartered
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon champagne or golden balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
  • Red bell pepper slices and avocado slices, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a food processor, combine the peaches, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup water and pulse until coarsely pureed. Thin with the remaining 1/4 cup water if needed for a good consistency. 
  2. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill thoroughly.
  3. Just before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning with more vinegar, salt, and pepper if needed. Stir in the cilantro.
  4. Ladle into bowls, drizzle each serving with a little oil, and garnish with the bell pepper and avocado. Serve at once.

*CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Peach by Marcy Masumoto, Nikiko Masumoto, and David Mas Masumoto (Ten Speed Press, 2013). Photography (c) 2013 by Staci Valentin


Serves 2

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and quartered
  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F
  2. Add all of the vegetables to a baking sheet and top with the fresh sage leaves
  3. Drizzle the coconut oil evenly onto the sage and vegetables, and pop into the oven
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, and then flip the vegetables and bake for another 10 minutes
  5. Remove from the oven, and serve the vegetables onto 2 plates
  6. Top with chopped walnuts, and finish with salt and black pepper, to taste. Enjoy!
Serves 4
  • 4 medium potatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup leeks, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce
  1. Start by boiling the potatoes in a pot of water for 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Leave the skins on
  2. In another pot, boil the butternut squash for 15 minutes, or until tender
  3. Drain the water from both pots
  4. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, butternut squash, cream cheese, and garlic powder. Salt to taste
  5. Using a pestle or fork, mash all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy
  6. Next, we’ll get to the leek topping. Heat up the olive oil, and add the leeks and soy sauce. Sauté for 3-4 minutes
  7. Add the leek topping to the mashed potatoes, and finish off with ground black pepper. Enjoy!


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