Our 130-acre farm has been in the Wenz family since 1913. These steep forested hills, narrow ridges, and fertile bottomlands are located in Bracken County, Kentucky - a remote rural area tucked between the Bluegrass Region, the Ohio River, and Appalachia. Our ancestors immigrated from the Rhineland Region of Germany in the mid-19th century. Look closely at the picture above right, which is the City of Bacharach, located in the Mainz-Bingen District of the Rhineland-Palatinate, and less than 50 miles from the birthplace of our ancestors. Compare it to Maysville, Ky., located 20 miles from us, and pictured at left. It's no wonder that the legacy of the Rhineland in the New World is a part of our DNA!
Realizing a Dream
Now it's our turn to steward the farm. We're inspired by the example of Grandpa John Wenz, his diverse farm, self-reliance and low-tech approach to farming and life in general. We're building a diverse enterprise that includes chestnut orchards, field peas, fresh vegetables, cut flowers, and wildcrafted fruits and spices. Chestnuts are our primary crop. Serendipitously, Germany is Europe's center of chestnut production and research. While the American chestnut no longer exists due to a blight in the early 20th century, Chinese chestnut thrives here. And so, by planting highly productive and resilient, well-adapted Chinese Chestnut trees we're bringing the chestnut growing traditions of the Rhineland to Kentucky.