Girl Planting seeds

‘Surviving is a real question’: can small farms endure under California’s landmark water law?

Nikiko Masumoto began her farming career in the summer of 2011, just as California was entering its worst drought in recorded history. Masumoto is the fourth generation of her family to farm this land in Del Rey: 80 organic acres of stone fruit in eastern Fresno county in California’s fertile Central Valley, its most perfect peaches bound for the epicurean Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley. For four years in a row, the farm survived only on the water it could draw from underground. And as the drought persisted, the perfect peaches grew less perfect – smaller, malnourished. The farm lowered its wells and pumped more so Masumoto could keep the trees alive. The farm made it through by way of grit and preparation. But even with plenty of both, said Masumoto, “surviving is a real question.”  Read more.....



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