Eric Stephen Bocks is a fifth generation farmer and also known as a “Renaissance man.”
Eric Bocks’ Ag career ended before it started when at a young age he left his family farm to tour as a musician. Then he received a phone call that forced him to re-evaluate the direction of a life which he felt was missing something important. His return to a career in Ag has included being a cannery owner and farmer of Kadota figs, apricots and now almonds to a musical theater playwright and composer [3 full length musicals off Broadway and singing Jazz and Pop in Night clubs ] to being writer of a children’s books [3 published books 2 more in the hopper] Falconer [flying peregrines for over 30 years] and all around outdoorsman and hunter he has endeavored to bring his talent and passion to all he dedicates his time.
Eric Bocks on stage with his daughter, Elizabeth
His farming career found him managing his Fathers Fig orchards in 1985 while simultaneously learning to run the world’s largest Kadota fig cannery located in Planada California. Oasis foods Inc. supplied Kadota Figs, Freestone peaches and Cling spiced pickled peaches for the likes of Tri Valley growers S&W brand to Del monte corp. by 1995 the canning business was starting to shrink and all the Co packs that Oasis had built its business on were going away. It was no longer profitable for the “small to medium size” cannery to stay profitable, still he and now his wife persevered by moving into canning prunes.
Eric Bocks farming Almonds
Finally when that was no longer a going concern Eric looked around to see the emerging market place of the almond industry. He pulled those 300 acres and started to learn everything he could about the growing of Almonds in the clay adobe ground his father had bought for the Figs.
Working on the Bocks’ Almond Farm in
Le Grand, California
All the time the other whispers of music and hunting Falcons kept his nights filled with stories of Robin Hood and Richard the first and a musical called Heart of the lion. In 2000 he directed and starred in the show put it up with full orchestra to an audience of 3700 people, still the largest audience to come to a original theater project in Merced Ca. Building on that success he tried to push the show along to other cities and put it up again in 2005 produced by Townsend Opera players. Finally after numerous rewrites the musical ended up running for five years in Bucharest Romania at the nation theater.
Eric Bocks with one of his Falcons.
All the time he was farming and writing the next passion would come in the form of Falcons. Hunting hawks. His love for the birds seemed like all of the best about hunting the day to day care of the birds the prey on equal footing with man and then of course the birds themselves. They were not like guns you could take out and pull the trigger and see the meal on the table 96% of the time.
Wendover, a Peregrine falcon featured in
Eric Bocks’ children’s books
They were flesh and bone and blood and the animals they chased and sometimes caught were the challenge of his hunting life. Being raised hunting duck, pheasant and quail he fell in love with the romance of this art of Falconry and has dedicated a good portion of his life trying to understand and train birds of prey.
Eric Bocks at a book signing for his
Wing Over Wendover children’s
His next natural recourse was to put the stories of his exploits with the birds down to pen. In 2010 started writing the tales of WingOver Wendover. Wendover is a peregrine falcon that is being flown by Timmy a sixteen year old boy. Wendover has a sidekick and his name is Diego Maximillian Jones or DJ for short, he’s a packrat and the two figure out how to get out of the most dangerous situations. In 2012 he published his first book to rave reviews, two more to follow and now the trilogy is in Bookstores throughout the world. Farming, music, and falcons… a great life. Watch the Video here.