In 1968, Buddy began the planting of his pecan orchard which now encompasses 85 irrigated trees and 40+ other trees throughout the farm. After his workforce of five children graduated high school and left the farm, he amazingly harvested these trees alone by devising a clever way to tarp under the trees and then gather the dropped pecans, all with the use of his John Deere gator. Though being a pecan grower and harvester were my father’s love and passion, selling wholesale was the only option that was viable for him. Among his various endeavors such as cattle, small grain, peaches, and hay, my father was able to sustain the farm.
The internet and expansion of global shipping today has changed how producers are able to get their product to market. My husband and I have many ideas and options for creating a sustainable pecan business using my dad’s orchard as the foundation. We were concerned that the size of my dad’s existing orchard may not be enough to justify the capital investment required to create a successful business. In order to expand our potential inventory, we are also harvesting pecans from other Gillespie County orchards which are pesticide-free. As we build our business, we hope to add other orchards which adhere to the same quality and organic standards as Buddy’s Pecans.
Of special note, there are some other pecan trees available to our operation which are owned by my Aunt Fredda who inherited my grandparent’s home place. Her property has over 40 improved pecan trees that my father planted at the same time he planted his orchard. My aunt has the same love of the land as my father and me. She also understands the importance of family, family land, and honoring our heritage. When I approached her about harvesting the pecans off her land, she graciously offered them to me with no expectation of anything in return. Her generosity is a testament to her support and belief in me and my dream to make this business venture work and, in the long run, to help keep my father’s land in the family.