Biltmore’s Farm and Culinary History
Olmsted recommended that Vanderbilt “make a small park into which to look from your house; make a small pleasure ground and garden, farm your river bottom chiefly to keep and fatten live stock with a view to manure; and make the rest a forest, improving the existing woods and planting the old fields.”
The estate’s agricultural component was so important that Vanderbilt built a cottage for the “market gardener” who managed the estate’s vegetable gardens and green houses. The cottage was completed in 1896, and is now part of the estate’s overnight accommodations.
A major flood in 1901 did considerable damage to the cottage and portions of the estate, but Biltmore’s agricultural heritage remained and continued to be a part of its legacy until Vanderbilt’s grandson and heir, William A.V. Cecil, hired agricultural director Ted Katsigianis in 1984. Katsigianis revived the estate’s agricultural component by helping establish purebred sheep and cattle herds and a sizable production garden that benefits estate restaurants.
Located in Asheville, N.C., Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore includes Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; four-star The Inn on Biltmore Estate; the new Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.