Why did you begin farming?
My family has owned the land for many years. We wanted to use an organic system of agriculture to produce pecans. It’s very important to us to know how our food is grown, so we grow our own.
Have you always been an eco-farmer, or did you make a change?
From the time we took over the family farm we have always used organic methods.
What was the biggest hurdle you have overcome?
Switching from conventional to solar power for irrigation and personal use.
What do you enjoy most about farming?
Great expectations for the next pecan crop and eating healthy food year-round.
What is your biggest current challenge?
Dealing with drought.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received about farming?
Always give back to the earth what you take from her.
What learning opportunities have helped you become a better farmer?
Organic farming conferences, Acres U.S.A. magazine, my association with other eco-farmers and their advice. Also self-education on organic/sustainable farming methods.
King’s Crossing Farm
San Saba, Texas
Farmers: Jimma and John Byrd
Farm size: 109.5 acres
Year established: My Grandfather bought the property for its native pecan orchard in 1944. He paid for it with the first pecan crop harvested.
Number of years farming? We’ve been farming together since our marriage 16 years ago.
Years reading Acres U.S.A.? More than 10 years
Products: Pecans, tomatoes, peppers, melons, herbs, squash, beans, potatoes, garlic, onions
Certifications: USDA Certified Organic by Texas Department of Agriculture 2002-2013. We are changing certifiers and are currently not certified.
Contact: 325-372-7615 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What do you see in store for the future of sustainable farming?
It will become imperative to be sustainable due to diminishing resources and the challenges of climate change.
What is your favorite season?
Spring, for the hope of a good crop. Fall, for the bounty of the harvest.
What do you enjoy most about living on the land?
The connection with the earth and the cycle of life.
This article appears in the August 2015 issue of Acres U.S.A.