Country View: Billy Brooks – Beck's Fish Camp and Farm – Pensacola, FL
Today we're featuring Billy Brooks, who runs a popular fish camp and farm in Florida
Radio interview source: Bill Brooks, Property Manager, Cantonment, FL
In northwest Florida is a family recreation area that has something for everyone. Beck's Fish Camp and Farm is a nature park with 35,000 acres. It includes trails in the woods, farm animals, wildlife, and a fish camp for those who want to rough it near the water. Anglers can even pick vegetables at the farm to complement a meal of freshly-caught fish.
Billy Brooks is the property manager. He says because it's so close to Pensacola, the camp has many visitors from the city who have never seen farm animals or field crops.
"We have about 40 goats, one donkey, about 30-head of hogs, and all kinds of wildlife," he says. "We raise crops, we have probably about four-acres in vegetables. We've been raising vegetables and stuff for the markets, plus we're going to be raising some feed for the livestock."
Billy says visitors can pick produce, or the staff will pick it for them. The camp area is rich with wildlife, including deer, bobcats, and even the occasional alligator. Billy says the camp is in the process of being designated as a wildlife refuge, so no hunting is allowed.
Billy expects the far northern area of the property to be developed. But the rest will be kept as a nature park for the public to enjoy.
"Now we have a few RV spots, maybe one day we'll have 30-or-40 RV spots," he says. "But the time's just not right for it yet. We try to do things and enlarge as we make the money to do it with. We try to use every resource that we have to do our building with. We cut our own rails for the fencing. We have trees, so that's what we make our rails out of. Why go buy it if you've got it?"
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