Secret Harvests: A Hidden Story of Separation and the Resilience of a Family Farm

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Red Hen Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.2 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
David Mas Masumoto is an organic farmer, author, and activist. His book Epitaph for a Peach won the Julia Child Cookbook award and was a finalist for a James Beard award. His writing has been awarded a Commonwealth Club of California silver medal and the Independent Publisher Books bronze medal. He has been honored by Rodale Institute as an "Organic Pioneer." He has served on the boards of the James Irvine Foundation, Public Policy Institute of California, Cal Humanities, and the National Council on the Arts with nomination by President Obama. He farms with his wife Marcy and two adult children, Nikiko and Koro. They reside in a hundred-year-old farmhouse surrounded by their eighty-acre organic peach, nectarine, apricot, and raisin farm outside of Fresno, California.
Linoleum block and letterpress artist Patricia Miye Wakida grew up in Fresno, California. In addition to maintaining her own linoleum block and letterpress studio under the wasabi press imprint, she frequently writes about Japanese American history and culture. She is a Yonsei (fourth-generation Japanese American), whose parents were incarcerated as children in the Jerome (Arkansas) and Gila River (Arizona) World War II Japanese American concentration camps. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and son, cats, and chickens. Her website:

"Mas is truly a poet-farmer--he writes stories like he tends to his peaches, each memory cared for and brought to life in such beautiful, thoughtful detail. This book is an immigrant story both very personal to Mas and resonant with so many others around the world, inspiring and heartbreaking, a story of family, history, memory, and lifetimes of resilience."
--José Andrés, chef-activist and founder of World Central Kitchen

"Secrets carry the heavy weight of shame but they are also waiting to be liberated. Secret Harvests by David "Mas" Masumoto sheds light on an important chapter in Japanese American disability history by unearthing his intergenerational family story. Society can try to bury the ugliness of certain truths but they have a way of reaching toward the light."
--Alice Wong, disability rights activist, writer and founder of Disability Visibility Project

"Exquisite and haunting. Masumoto investigates the life of a long-lost aunt and, in the process, unearths a painful chapter from his own family's history. Secret Harvests is a deeply affecting meditation on loss and resilience and what we owe to those we have forgotten. A heartbreaking memoir, written with clarity and grace, about how even the 'least' of us leaves behind an indelible mark on the world."
--Julie Otsuka, writer and author of The Buddha in the Attic

"Mas Masumoto masterfully weaves dramatic history with domestic tragedy into a coherent, revealing whole. This 'secret' merits serious pursuit."
--Lawson Fusao Inada

"Paired with artist Patricia Wakida's haunting illustrations, the book's rich, lyrical language evokes both cultural eloquence and California's seasonal beauty. Poignant and reflective, Secret Harvests is a family saga of quiet endurance and bittersweet triumphs."
--Meg Nola, Forward Reviews

"A simultaneously elegant and sharp-edged exploration of the hidden past."--Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Masumoto has shared his experiences as an organic farmer in central California in books and as a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. Here, he details his family's remarkable discovery in 2012 of an aunt--his mother's sister Shizuko (Sugi)--whose childhood case of meningitis rendered her mentally disabled, and who was thus forcibly separated from her siblings and parents during the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII...Masumoto thoughtfully ruminates on the swirl of emotions the war wrought on his family... and their shame in realizing that institutionalized care for Sugi might have been better than what they could have given her. Ultimately, there is pride in Sugi's resilience..." --Booklist

"Ultimately, the reader comes away from Secret Harvests with a sense of reverence for farmers and caregivers as well as an understanding of Masumoto's family history, which is representative of so many Japanese-American families' experiences in the last three generations. Reading this book will make you reconsider the value of difference, whether you are considering people or produce at the farmer's market." --Rachel Lutwick-Deaner, Southern Review of Books