After her husband's death, Mrs. Hata desperately needs help on her cucumber farm. Rinko' mother wants her to spend the summer helping Mrs. Hata, her life-long friend. But 12-year-old Rinko sees Mrs. Hata's traditional Japanese ways as being backward and "crazy." When she gives in to her mother's request, she discovers Mrs. Hata is kind and courageous, fighting to save her farm. Before summer ends, RInko comes to appreciate and defend "crazy" Mrs. Hata.