To read: “Eat, Memory: Family Heirloom.” It’s a short essay in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine by David Mas Masumoto on family, land, work, farming and food:
“… Our … farm in California was exploding with life. Peaches and nectarines were blooming, and the grapevines were pushing forth pale green buds with miniature bunches. In three months, if all went well, we’d gorge ourselves on peaches. In six months, the bulbous grapes could be dried into raisins.
“But the weeds flourished, too. Innocent-looking for a day or two, they kept growing, spreading thick over the landscape. Soon a tangled mass of fibers would compete for water, nutrients and sunlight, stunting the development of my crops, robbing fruits of the essentials they need to grow fat.
“The physical work was breaking me. Organic farming is not simple. It’s easy to want to be environmentally responsible, but it’s a damned hard thing to achieve. You cannot replace tedious labor with technology or equipment. If I miss a few worms, an outbreak could ensue. I can’t fix things with a magic spray. It’s like catching a bad flu with no medicine readily available. …”