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Our family moved to our 27 acre pecan grove in 1994. For the first two years we followed the conventional chemical approach to pecan production; spraying insecticides, fungicides, and applications of chemical fertilizer. The toxicity of these substances made spray season a time of concern for us and the wildlife in the grove. We decided to try a more natural approach. In 1996 we built and installed our first bat house and fifty wasp houses for insect control. We switched from fungicides to beneficial microbes and from chemical fertilizer to crimson clover cover crops.

With the help of Bat Conservation International on bat house design, some grant assistance, and the on-going support of Mark and Selena Kiser with their wealth of knowledge about bats, we have established permanent bat colonies. We now have seven double roosts, two single roosts and a bat tower. Our seasonal peak bat population is about 3,500 Brazilian free-tailed bats, with a couple hundred evening bats mixed in. The degree of insect control provided by the bats has surpassed all our expectations and has eliminated the need for insecticides.

When BCI, SARE, and other organizations began to publish articles about our work with bats, we started receiving requests to build bat houses. This has blossomed into a rewarding small, on-farm business. Our farm gained certified organic status in 2005.

Our pecan trees typically produce a crop of nuts every other year. We have also been growing elephant garlic at our farm for about 10 years that is now available commercially. We have planted a pomegranate grove of 100 trees which will start to produce fruit in 2013.