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Monday, 19 January 2015


The Roman poet Virgil's early home was on a farm in the village of Andes. After the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the family farm was seized.

In 812 Charlemagne ordered a number of useful plants, among them anise, fennel, fenugreek, and flax, to be grown on the imperial farms in Germany.

Marie Antoinette had a mock farm at the Petit-Trianon, where, dressed as a milkmaid, she cared for her perfumed sheep and goats.

Mount Vernon was George Washington's favourite residence, which he inherited in 1851. Steadily adding to Mount Vernon, he increased its holdings to 8,000 acres, divided into five farms. He complained of heavy losses in bad years, but in good years his profits were large

In 1786 approximately 90 people lived on Washington's main Mansion House Farm, and another 150 or so lived on the four adjoining farms.

Jane Austen's parson father farmed a small holding where he kept cows,  pigs and sheep and grew wheat for making bread. Her mother kept fowl and looked after the orchards, herbs and vegetables.

Alfred Tennyson's wife, Emily run their Isle of Wight, Faringford farm successfully. Her wheat won international prizes.

Henry Ford felt that dairy cows are inefficient and unsanitary and proposed that milk be made synthetically. This probably harked back to his childhood milking cows on his father's farm.

Mohandas Gandhi established a commune near Johannesburg in 1910s, based on Tolstoy's ideas, a farm of 1,100 acres where he pitched in with the manual work along with everyone else.

Ikea is named after the initials of its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, the farm on which grew up and Agunnaryd, the nearby village.

Elvis Presley's Graceland site was originally part of a 500-acre farm founded by Mr S..Toof, a Memphis businessman. Mr Toof’s daughter was called Grace and he named the ranch Graceland in her honor.

George Orwell loved the countryside. On his farm he grew vegetables and kept chickens and goats, which he could milk. He refused to keep pigs as they were are the only animal he didn't like.

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