Small farmers turn to creative projects to survive

June 23, 2013 • Business

In this photo taken Friday June 7, 2013 in Del Rey, Calif. shown is a multigrain waffle with sauted peaches, one of the recipes in the Masumoto family cookbook. The Masumotos, who grow peaches and nectarines on an 80-acre farm near Fresno, have published the cookbook to tell the story of their farm and create a stronger link with consumers. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

DEL REY, Calif. (AP) — Farmer David Mas Masumoto knows his small peach orchard can’t compete with the giant agribusinesses that dominate the nation’s produce aisles.

So as he walks through his central California grove at harvest time, showing his two workers which trees to pick, his wife and daughter, Marcy and Nikiko, work a different side of the operation, preparing a recipe from the family’s newly published cookbook.

They saute fresh peach slices in butter and brandy, then whip heavy cream and pour wholegrain batter into a waffle iron, creating one of the dozens of dishes from “The Perfect Peach.”

“The cookbook,” says Nikiko Masumoto, 27, who co-authored the book with her parents, “is a natural extension of what we’ve been trying to do for years on the farm: to use creative ways to share our story and galvanize people about our fruit.”

Like the Masumotos, small-scale growers throughout the U.S. are looking for creative ways to set themselves apart as they find that survival requires more than just selling Login to read more

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