Saturday, May 18, 2013

Biltmore's Farmville

When George Vanderbilt and Fred Omsted started their huge landscaping project Fred told George he needed to bring in plenty of cattle for the fertilizer .  Did George say, "Are you bullshitting me?"  He may have thought it.  Plenty of cattle were brought in.  It makes financial good sense to put those cattle to work, therefore, the birth of Biltmore Dairy came about which became a popular milk of the area.  Then they decided to feed all the guests they plan to have regularly they should grow their own vegetables and sell the leftovers in the open produce market.  And the same with beef and pork.  One thing led to another.  An enterprise was born.

Now, they grow a huge amount of different experimental crops, byl taking crop out of its native area and transplant them there, for example, our docent pointed out a huge field of Canola flowers, which are not natives of western North Carolina.

They also had their own brick factory and in time developed their own winery.

The Winery 

The below pictures were taken in a building named  THE BILTMORE LEGENCY.  There are posters, pictures, and artifacts to show the Vanderbilts doing their thing.  In the front room an arrow signs send you to the right and you walk around the inside of the building counter-clock wise.  I freely took pictures.  At the end of the tour the last thing I focused on was a sign saying no photography allowed.  Oops! 

They had all kinds of farm equipment that changed themselves into antiques.

This Doc Cudd, the official blacksmith of the enterprise. He told us he is 4th generation of blacksmiths.  He said blacksmiths have in his family for over 400 years.  I would say that doesn't make sense, because I think between 30 and 40 years is about a generation, but then after thinking it over, he didn't say all those blacksmiths were direct decedents   

He is an artist in his own right.  I have some videos of him giving a demonstration and also playing a tune with his anvil, which I am working on, and should be ready tomorrow.


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