Gateway to the Smokies

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 2021/03/16 - Seeds and Song

Facebook Live Video from 2021/03/16 - Seeds and Song


2021/03/16 - Seeds and Song

[NEW EPISODE] Seeds and Song

Today's guest on Gateway to the Smokies Podcast is William Ritter- he is a musician, farmer, western North Carolina native, and lover of southern Appalachia. He holds an MA in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University, and he’s been saving seeds for a long time. They will be talking about heirloom seeds and growing traditional foods and agriculture relationship to traditional music.

Tune in for this fun conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Before introducing today’s guest, Joseph discusses heirloom seeds and plants in his family.Joseph reads a poem about memories tied to seeds. Joseph introduces William Ritter, today’s guest, and William talks a little about his background. William discusses how the mountains feel like home to him. William describes seed saving and how it started.

Segment 2

Joseph talks about his interest in music and asks William about where his interest stemmed from. William discusses how he built and learned to play the fiddle, comparing the traditions of old time music to seed saving. Joseph and William talk about farmers markets in the Smokies where heirloom vegetables can be found.

Segment 3

William discusses types and properties of heirloom vegetables, from candy roasters to beans to tomatoes, etc. As someone who doesn't cook much, William knows many restaurants that serve dishes with heirloom vegetables. William goes on to describe how to make leather britches out of beans. Joseph and William discuss the wide variety of places where one can find heirloom seeds.

Segment 4

William describes a project he is working on, Song to Seeds. The project is about more than songs and seeds though, working to bring communities together and share traditions.


00:00:37.980 --> 00:00:38.520 Joseph McElroy: howdy.

00:00:38.970 --> 00:00:43.170 Joseph McElroy: Thanks for joining us on this week's episode of gateway to the smokies.

00:00:43.770 --> 00:00:50.070 Joseph McElroy: This podcast is about america's most visited National Park, the great smoky mountains National Park.

00:00:50.430 --> 00:01:02.160 Joseph McElroy: and the surrounding towns this area's filled with ancient natural beauty a deep storied history and rich mountain cultures that we will explore with weekly episodes.

00:01:03.150 --> 00:01:17.610 Joseph McElroy: I am Joseph Franklin mcilroy a man of the world, but also a deep roots and these mountains My family has lived in the great smoky mountains, for over 200 years my business is in travel, but my heart is in culture.

00:01:18.390 --> 00:01:24.570 Joseph McElroy: Today we're talking about seeds and sounds and heirloom agritourism in the smoky mountains.

00:01:24.960 --> 00:01:37.920 Joseph McElroy: With a dash of old time music, I will introduce you to my guests scholar and farmer William Ritter, very soon, but first i'm going to tell you a little bit of a story about my experience with seeds and heirloom.

00:01:38.310 --> 00:01:43.770 Joseph McElroy: Agriculture in the mountains and then maybe a little poetry So when I was growing up.

00:01:45.240 --> 00:01:56.910 Joseph McElroy: my grandparents had a farm in Ireland, which is a part of haywood county it's very rural and then, and then it might end up is McElroy co which is my family's lived in for a little while.

00:01:58.470 --> 00:02:05.370 Joseph McElroy: And then, and then they lived in a farmhouse it was just a plain old farmhouse nothing particular fancy but it raised a bunch of kids.

00:02:07.020 --> 00:02:15.960 Joseph McElroy: But they, but they did have a nice running creek in the front yard and then and then around that creek and the front of your old place where these beautiful orange irises.

00:02:16.800 --> 00:02:24.720 Joseph McElroy: Now I remember seeing those irises in the spring and they were just glorious and come to find out that my grandmother.

00:02:25.620 --> 00:02:37.110 Joseph McElroy: told me once that she'd got those bulbs from her from her family, where they've been around for a while my event and eventually told me in several years later, that those items have been growing our family land for over 100 years.

00:02:37.860 --> 00:02:48.360 Joseph McElroy: And, and then people you know different family members will just get a bunch of the bulbs, you know from wherever the original place was and then eventually in some of those new places.

00:02:48.720 --> 00:02:56.040 Joseph McElroy: And they would transfer those bulbs to their their new land or their new house whatever and then let them grow there so.

00:02:57.090 --> 00:03:09.630 Joseph McElroy: These bulbs turns out have been around, probably for over 100 years and at this point as well over 100 years because i'm talking about four years ago I don't wanna I don't want to mention my age, but it's definitely been a while.

00:03:10.860 --> 00:03:18.570 Joseph McElroy: And so, when I got the family farm about 10 years ago were part of it, my my my brothers and sisters got the other part, and.

00:03:19.050 --> 00:03:36.480 Joseph McElroy: And, and I got this House on the land that I made into a into a vacation cabin because I go down a lot, and then I like to have I like to have my own place with me my wife at the time and I made sure to get some of those irises and put them on my yard there.

00:03:37.620 --> 00:03:44.670 Joseph McElroy: And so it was in the farm, it was in my own place on the farm and it was the iris is, I felt like a family tradition had been completed.

00:03:45.120 --> 00:03:57.870 Joseph McElroy: You know, it made me feel part of a long running community on a long tradition, you know I i'm living this life around the world, but you know I can't I can't leave behind.

00:03:58.230 --> 00:04:07.230 Joseph McElroy: That it's it's important right I think it's important to have that sense of community, you know not only locally, but I think that we need to think about it on a.

00:04:07.860 --> 00:04:23.190 Joseph McElroy: National and global scale these these traditions in this these communities, we can't always just be inventing the new we also got to be involved in the old, and I think that's especially one of the beauties of rural life and the amount of life that sharing and communal living.

00:04:24.420 --> 00:04:35.160 Joseph McElroy: we're going to get into talking into seeds and my guests are going to tell us a lot about it, but I remember set of seeds to from my growing up for that were called their candy roasters seeds.

00:04:35.880 --> 00:04:43.920 Joseph McElroy: Right now candy roasters are these great big squash now, some of them are really long and orange and some of them are like more round and.

00:04:44.280 --> 00:04:56.910 Joseph McElroy: And and green but I mean, some of them are the size of you know, a pig I mean they get big and they grow very they're very sweet and they grow mostly I think in the mountains.

00:04:57.300 --> 00:05:04.590 Joseph McElroy: And oftentimes we will use them instead of pumpkins and pies and breads and such.

00:05:04.950 --> 00:05:19.410 Joseph McElroy: And there's a lot of varieties I think there's like over 40 varieties and people pass down the seeds of their favorite variety, like their family heirlooms and I also got some of those and planted them on my farm and I, for a number of years I grew grew.

00:05:20.580 --> 00:05:22.050 Joseph McElroy: Those Kenny Rogers now.

00:05:23.250 --> 00:05:35.970 Joseph McElroy: One of the tragedies in my life is my my wife died, my second wife died and I sort of lost interest in things for a little bit and I lost those seeds all right and that's one of the you know, one of the sorrows of my.

00:05:36.720 --> 00:05:48.630 Joseph McElroy: You know communal living is I ended a tradition so i'm gonna be talking to William here soon and see if I can get me some new of candy roaster seeds, so I can reinvent the tradition, because now i've got two year old kids.

00:05:49.140 --> 00:06:00.600 Joseph McElroy: And I am really looking forward to teaching them about these traditions, and I think they loved or the prance around in a candy roaster from patch and find pumpkins and you know find squash bigger than they are.

00:06:02.640 --> 00:06:09.270 Joseph McElroy: Right and and you know and i've done poetry a few times on this on this this.

00:06:09.810 --> 00:06:28.080 Joseph McElroy: This show, and you know telling the stories makes me a little bit wispy and I like to you know deal with emotions and poetry, so I found this this this poem called the stack behind the barn by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts I would love to have for first names is my name.

00:06:30.510 --> 00:06:40.200 Joseph McElroy: But he is a Canadian potent died in 43 and he did I don't think he was ever in the smokies but it speaks to.

00:06:41.550 --> 00:06:55.470 Joseph McElroy: September, is here with the ripen the seeds and homely smell of the autumn weeds my heart goes back to the finished day and i'm again a boy at play in the stack behind the barn.

00:06:56.700 --> 00:07:11.130 Joseph McElroy: Dear memory of the old home farm the hedge rows fencing the crops from harm the cows too heavy with milk for haste, the yard barnyard yellow with the harvest waste and the stack behind the barn.

00:07:12.240 --> 00:07:28.200 Joseph McElroy: dear dear dear the old garden smell sweet million flocks that I love so well and the seating mint and the sage turn Gray, the deer the smell of the tumbled hey in the stack behind the barn.

00:07:29.610 --> 00:07:43.620 Joseph McElroy: In the side of the stack we made our nest and there was the playhouse we love the best a thicket of golden rod bending and bright fill this with glory and hid for us from site in the set stack behind the barn.

00:07:44.640 --> 00:07:58.860 Joseph McElroy: Then, when the stack with a year ran low and our frosty morning cheeks were a glow when time and forgotten the dropping leaves what joy to drop from the barns wide eve's to the stack behind the barn.

00:08:00.000 --> 00:08:19.230 Joseph McElroy: Oh childhood years your heedless feet have slipped away with how much that sweet dreams and memory master you to the make believe lot make believe of life is through I still may play as the children do in the stack behind the barn.

00:08:22.830 --> 00:08:27.300 Joseph McElroy: So, especially my position in life that's really you know.

00:08:28.200 --> 00:08:39.450 Joseph McElroy: Great i'm you know it's a it spoke to me so William is a i'm here is an old time fiddler and a seed saver from baker Seville North Carolina.

00:08:39.870 --> 00:08:47.850 Joseph McElroy: is spent most of his adult life studying and sharing appalachian culture last year he loves the song the seed project which curates.

00:08:48.210 --> 00:08:58.830 Joseph McElroy: Educational programs that combined old time music stories without telling seed saving another sample of southern appalachian traditions now i've had conversations with William.

00:08:59.190 --> 00:09:12.030 Joseph McElroy: And you know, I was expecting this older guy and he's a young guy but he's got an old soul and lots of information, and I really wanted to have him on the show so William first thing you have a master's degree.

00:09:12.390 --> 00:09:14.640 Joseph McElroy: and probably got a few places.

00:09:15.030 --> 00:09:20.910 Joseph McElroy: So tell me why is the mountain so attractive for you build your career there and your life.

00:09:21.360 --> 00:09:25.980 William Ritter: Well, first of all i'm still gathering myself, because that poem really hit me hard.

00:09:30.270 --> 00:09:30.780 Joseph McElroy: To make it.

00:09:32.310 --> 00:09:32.880 Joseph McElroy: As well as.

00:09:32.940 --> 00:09:36.240 William Ritter: Intellectual yeah so I wasn't prepared I wasn't prepared.

00:09:36.270 --> 00:09:44.670 William Ritter: For that that was beautiful um yeah so I I grew up in Mitchell county bakers hill North Carolina and.

00:09:45.810 --> 00:09:52.380 William Ritter: I was born and raised in Mitchell county and I did Finally, you know go off for college at Western.

00:09:53.550 --> 00:10:06.000 William Ritter: I got a theater degree there and and then I went to upstate and that's where I got my degree in appalachian studies, with a an emphasis on roots music.

00:10:07.650 --> 00:10:16.350 William Ritter: I i've never been able to go very far from the mountains honestly it's very, very hard for me, even as a kid we would go to the beach.

00:10:17.220 --> 00:10:30.300 William Ritter: or or go on a mean really want family vacation so much, but my my parents are glass artists and so they would have shows that they had that when they go to and sometimes it takes us along and that kind of counted as the family, they.

00:10:31.710 --> 00:10:42.150 William Ritter: But I never you know anyone, I think this really either lived in the mountains long time or is from the mountains can relate to that feeling of like when you're in a very flat.

00:10:42.810 --> 00:10:52.440 William Ritter: plane and you're going along and all sudden in the distance she says blue mountains and you're like Ah yes, yes i'm home oh i'm back, I feel like we're a.

00:10:53.010 --> 00:11:04.650 William Ritter: Or, I need to be at least that's how I would feel for me and sometimes it wasn't even close we were like hours and hours and hours away from Mitchell county but you know we were in the mountain it really it really felt like home.

00:11:05.610 --> 00:11:22.110 Joseph McElroy: Or, or you know I get it, I I know my business with technology which is big when I was coming out of college and then and then marketing and all those you know, nowadays, you can be anywhere but then you have to be in the city is really to make a big living out of it right so.

00:11:22.170 --> 00:11:22.620 William Ritter: Right.

00:11:22.680 --> 00:11:23.280 William Ritter: And I did.

00:11:23.400 --> 00:11:40.710 William Ritter: live in Winston Salem for a few years, which I met some wonderful folks there and I could see I could see a mountain from my part, which was like a godsend for me, but, but that was that was a little even the foothills were a little little far out of the mountains for me.

00:11:41.490 --> 00:11:54.600 Joseph McElroy: So you know we're going to talk about seed saving and I think i'm some fundamental level, we all know what seed saving is but can you give us a bigger picture of what's seed saving isn't isn't it sort of a big cultural part of a cultural mix now and.

00:11:54.600 --> 00:12:13.680 William Ritter: Say yeah, so there is like this, a modern kind of phenomena of people really getting into seed saving which a lot of that really developed came into I think everyone's kind of the popular conscience with the use of GMOs and that you know kind of scared a lot of people.

00:12:14.910 --> 00:12:25.650 William Ritter: To the point that that they decided they want in control of their own seed supply, which I totally totally get that's not really how I got into it, but that's the big part I think of what.

00:12:25.980 --> 00:12:33.810 William Ritter: created that but then there also was the DIY movement, I think the do it yourself movement that really combined with with that.

00:12:34.230 --> 00:12:42.060 William Ritter: Those and and that a lot of people wanted to have their own little garden there, so you start to see more urban gardening more rooftop gardening and that all kind of came together.

00:12:43.710 --> 00:12:45.330 William Ritter: I think, to really encourage people to.

00:12:46.350 --> 00:12:50.220 William Ritter: be in control of their own own seed sources is.

00:12:52.620 --> 00:13:00.540 William Ritter: You know, really there's a very few companies in the world that own a lot of the seeds so that's certainly a concern, and if you were paying you know if you.

00:13:01.530 --> 00:13:08.700 William Ritter: Think about that every family had maybe their own heirloom and most communities had certain heirlooms that were in other places.

00:13:09.360 --> 00:13:20.250 William Ritter: If you think about how maybe we had 95% of people were farmers 100 years ago fast forward to today 5% of people are so our farmers, so you can just see how naturally.

00:13:21.030 --> 00:13:29.310 William Ritter: Those all those different airlines and just drop off the mass so he's precipitously lost all the so many airlines, I mean just they've.

00:13:30.210 --> 00:13:38.220 William Ritter: gone by the wayside, honestly, for me, though I think of seed saving as as a Community act.

00:13:38.820 --> 00:13:51.480 William Ritter: So it's not just something where you're taking the seeds you grow your tomato plant from a seed and then you got your tomato and you cut it open and you keep the season you dry them out in the plan for next year, that is, seed saving but.

00:13:52.200 --> 00:14:02.700 William Ritter: The way that i'm looking at it it's kind of like the older older kind of seed saving the real heirlooms in capital H kind of a way you know know seed catalog or anything, not that i'm against those but.

00:14:03.150 --> 00:14:06.630 William Ritter: that a person would go to their neighbor or.

00:14:07.080 --> 00:14:18.930 William Ritter: Something the Community, and they would exchange them with warm hands, as we say so that was like person to person and that's a real Community act, I mean you can tell, and you can see that still a lot of appalachian heirlooms they'll it'll be like.

00:14:20.310 --> 00:14:26.340 William Ritter: they'll have a person's name in them of the variety don't just call it candy roast your seeds.

00:14:26.490 --> 00:14:29.040 William Ritter: They might call that like uncle jimmy's candy roaster.

00:14:29.400 --> 00:14:31.710 William Ritter: And so it really underscores.

00:14:32.010 --> 00:14:40.710 Joseph McElroy: That okay cool well when we come back we're gonna talk more about what sparked your interest in old time music and seed saving.

00:17:41.220 --> 00:17:51.360 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcasts and my guest William richer, so I.

00:17:52.560 --> 00:18:00.030 Joseph McElroy: I grew up you know, in a strong musical tradition around me in the haywood county and.

00:18:01.260 --> 00:18:03.840 Joseph McElroy: At the time we lived in Jonathan creek.

00:18:05.190 --> 00:18:14.040 Joseph McElroy: And you know I got interested in one brief period and learning banjo and other things, and like to start me out.

00:18:14.730 --> 00:18:23.160 Joseph McElroy: I wanted to Dan banjo but my dad got started wanting to start me simpler, I think, of whatever he got me a guitar right and instead of lessons.

00:18:23.790 --> 00:18:34.530 Joseph McElroy: To go with some local well known teacher, I can't remember the name, right now, but loser, you know played all sorts of instruments and focus in traditional mountain music.

00:18:35.010 --> 00:18:44.670 Joseph McElroy: And, and I had to go to school in the morning, carrying that guitar because I don't know, right after school to the to the to the teacher who live near.

00:18:45.240 --> 00:18:49.500 Joseph McElroy: And, as I got to the car and was walking walking up the.

00:18:50.190 --> 00:19:06.360 Joseph McElroy: Steps there was a high steps for the school because it was rock hill school, which is a one world schoolhouse essentially it was like an old rock building these high steps like sort of bounded up them because it did it I fell I fell right on top of the guitar and crush the thing.

00:19:07.590 --> 00:19:13.770 Joseph McElroy: Right and all the kids around I was a sort of a chevy though kid had a real self conscious problem anyway.

00:19:14.220 --> 00:19:30.900 Joseph McElroy: I felt they all started, how would laughter and I turned red I started crying I you know I I just threw it away and I wouldn't touch an instrument again for years, I really affect me that badly, so I missed my chance to get to to to.

00:19:31.470 --> 00:19:40.740 Joseph McElroy: to explore my interest in mountain music, so what sparked your interest in appalachian traditions, like old time music and seed saving.

00:19:41.580 --> 00:19:44.790 William Ritter: Well, well, I mean I gotta say first it's never too.

00:19:44.850 --> 00:19:45.120 late.

00:19:47.790 --> 00:19:51.270 William Ritter: it's never too late um but for me.

00:19:53.070 --> 00:20:00.570 William Ritter: I don't know I think I was kind of surprised that I ended up picking up the fiddle and and other string instruments.

00:20:01.710 --> 00:20:11.040 William Ritter: You know i'd always been told that you pretty much needed to be born like with a fiddle in your hands like you'd never really amounted to anything if you didn't start very young and that's really not.

00:20:11.640 --> 00:20:19.800 William Ritter: Not necessarily true um so I didn't really in earnest start playing the fiddle until I was in.

00:20:21.930 --> 00:20:23.820 William Ritter: High School kind of going on college.

00:20:25.980 --> 00:20:37.170 William Ritter: And I got this precocious idea that I would make my own fiddle because I was a handy type of person I grew up in a family of artists and we just made stuff when we needed it.

00:20:37.560 --> 00:20:56.460 William Ritter: So I didn't think anything of it, I I, so I am I ordered some bits and parts and I kind of borrowed some tools, and so I started working on this, putting the spittle together in my in my dad who's an artist, he said, you know you really need to talk to someone who knows what 30 who.

00:20:57.690 --> 00:21:03.690 William Ritter: can really show you there's actually there's this old man that you should go to meetings really interesting guy.

00:21:04.110 --> 00:21:15.450 William Ritter: And so I said all right all right, so I went up there and I met that's where i'm at right del injure and rate past earlier this year, but he really just.

00:21:15.960 --> 00:21:24.660 William Ritter: He really guarded I mean in the beginning it was just me going, and he showed me how to make a little tool, or he showed me how to do a certain thing or he.

00:21:26.280 --> 00:21:40.080 William Ritter: He basically would just help me and all these different ways, and I remember when I brought my fiddle after i'd put it together there's this particular part called a sound post that's loose really in the fiddle it just held in by by tension barely and.

00:21:41.160 --> 00:21:51.960 William Ritter: That I was having a really hard time getting in there, because you put the film together and then you prop it up it's it's best thing best left to experts, but anyway, so I took it to him and he said it up and.

00:21:52.710 --> 00:22:03.300 William Ritter: He said he'll never he never forget the the look in my face when he bowed across the strings and it it made us, you know it sounded like a fiddle maybe not a violin playing the fiddle.

00:22:04.500 --> 00:22:17.520 William Ritter: And so you know I just kept visiting Ray and I would help them a little something instruments, sometimes, and as I went to visit him more it was less about making fiddles or guitars and more about playing music, I mean he basically be like.

00:22:18.180 --> 00:22:28.080 William Ritter: To get the fiddle out and start playing, and you know I couldn't play to save my life, but he would encourage me just non stop, and let me just make mistakes and I worked my way along and.

00:22:28.530 --> 00:22:40.200 William Ritter: he'd say, do you know how to play, you know certain tune, and I said never heard it before and helmet for me I go home and learn it, so I had this really I mean I didn't even know but a really traditional way to learn to play.

00:22:41.820 --> 00:22:42.450 William Ritter: And I.

00:22:43.560 --> 00:22:53.670 William Ritter: You know kind of went out to the broader world and I started to meet other people that were like really interested in an old time music, but they didn't really know any old timers.

00:22:53.970 --> 00:23:00.210 William Ritter: So that was kind of bizarre to me that they were like into the music, but they were listening to like recordings and I was.

00:23:01.530 --> 00:23:06.240 William Ritter: I was doing that, too, but I also felt like there was a big disconnect when they weren't.

00:23:06.360 --> 00:23:08.940 Joseph McElroy: kind of there's still a lot of old timers and.

00:23:09.330 --> 00:23:13.020 William Ritter: Learning and there were more than that was about 15 years ago.

00:23:14.070 --> 00:23:19.140 William Ritter: And, and so I was, and in fact someone did come up to me and it changed my life.

00:23:19.530 --> 00:23:27.150 William Ritter: She said, you know I think it's a shame that you're learning from recordings when there's so many musicians around here, I was like oh my gosh you know my my head like I.

00:23:28.110 --> 00:23:41.220 William Ritter: know in and I realized when she said that that yeah I mean that's what I had been doing with Ray but I needed to think about them seriously and then over time I realized, you know, there are songs I learned from Ray that I didn't even like.

00:23:42.630 --> 00:23:51.270 William Ritter: But now they're like they're precious to me and I wouldn't give them up for anything and I love them but it's like a different relationship than just something you look like what's cool.

00:23:51.510 --> 00:23:54.420 William Ritter: is like something you like, because of that human connection and.

00:23:55.050 --> 00:24:01.320 William Ritter: And I really just basically found the same thing with seeds, you know, like I didn't even really like tomatoes that much when I started.

00:24:03.150 --> 00:24:03.630 William Ritter: Saving.

00:24:03.930 --> 00:24:10.590 William Ritter: that's changed but also they're just sweater tomatoes, then like what you get at a store like a hybrid tomato it's just it's just better I mean.

00:24:10.650 --> 00:24:16.020 Joseph McElroy: So you find you find the traditions of old time music and seed saving or are similar.

00:24:16.380 --> 00:24:20.700 William Ritter: Oh they're incredibly similar I mean you know they're handed down like.

00:24:21.240 --> 00:24:30.120 William Ritter: The hand first you know, usually with family members and a Community go to different communities, and they have different songs different seeds than other communities.

00:24:30.720 --> 00:24:45.360 William Ritter: And sometimes you'll have all these songs that have the same name but in different communities different tune so it's like you'd be like hey you know, a kitty push and then the other person yeah I know katie person you start to play and they're not the same.

00:24:46.650 --> 00:24:54.060 William Ritter: But that happens with with seeds to you'll you'll you know you see a lot of seeds have the same name and they aren't that's not the same seed.

00:24:55.290 --> 00:25:00.150 William Ritter: So there's really just there's a lot in common, they go really, really well well together.

00:25:00.690 --> 00:25:04.440 Joseph McElroy: Oh wow well that's cool do you um you know I had.

00:25:06.660 --> 00:25:11.280 Joseph McElroy: I was thinking, do you have a farm right, I have a farmer says like yeah.

00:25:11.460 --> 00:25:12.210 William Ritter: We farm.

00:25:12.870 --> 00:25:17.130 Joseph McElroy: Farm so you you do produce some heirloom crops right.

00:25:17.550 --> 00:25:25.110 William Ritter: i'm a little bit not so I mean mostly what I do is earned over into seeds and I eat it.

00:25:25.680 --> 00:25:34.980 William Ritter: The the plant itself, but some i'm and i'm also trying to transition out of what's very natural for me is, if I have access, that I grew.

00:25:35.430 --> 00:25:45.690 William Ritter: To like give it to other people is like is ingrained in me in a way, I didn't even realize until I started trying to sell you know some of the produce and and I really just wanted to give it to.

00:25:46.590 --> 00:25:48.480 William Ritter: me, I mean that's what we always did we had a.

00:25:48.540 --> 00:25:57.450 William Ritter: Huge garden growing up, if you had more than you need it, you took it to neighbors and friends and arrows are likely to have it unless they had a garden too and they're like Oh well, we'll we'll get this to.

00:25:58.170 --> 00:25:58.500 Oh.

00:25:59.670 --> 00:26:04.080 Joseph McElroy: So you're trying to start selling a little bit though you've got a little bit.

00:26:04.110 --> 00:26:04.410 Joseph McElroy: I mean.

00:26:04.680 --> 00:26:08.400 William Ritter: A little bit still a big part of what i'm trying to do is is create.

00:26:09.420 --> 00:26:13.140 William Ritter: create these public events and.

00:26:13.410 --> 00:26:14.730 William Ritter: Educational events.

00:26:16.170 --> 00:26:18.690 William Ritter: That all got shot to you know to heck.

00:26:20.160 --> 00:26:23.970 Joseph McElroy: we'll be bringing that back you can you can do those at the battle Arc motel, by the way.

00:26:24.330 --> 00:26:25.260 William Ritter: Oh yeah I.

00:26:25.290 --> 00:26:26.970 William Ritter: would love to yeah.

00:26:28.740 --> 00:26:39.150 Joseph McElroy: What so you know let's let's say for people out there, listening to this to find out where that what they how they can participate in this other than growing their own produce.

00:26:39.780 --> 00:26:53.160 Joseph McElroy: You know in in the mountains, you can go to farm stands and things like that to find heirloom prudent produce you know it's a big thing I think mountains to you know, to go to that sort of thing what are some of the good places, you know.

00:26:53.700 --> 00:27:04.650 William Ritter: Well, well real quick um there are some great farmers markets in western North Carolina East Tennessee to, though not as familiar there but i'm Silva has a great farmers market.

00:27:05.430 --> 00:27:16.500 William Ritter: waynesville has a great farmers market at both of those just to say real quick i've seen beautiful heirlooms particularly candy roasters just some to die for candy roasters but all up and down North Carolina.

00:27:17.310 --> 00:27:24.480 William Ritter: Western Carolina towns of any size i'm have farmers markets and you'll really find traditional heirloom vegetables there.

00:27:26.100 --> 00:27:30.300 William Ritter: So that's that's a great place to go almost every time every town has one or two.

00:27:30.960 --> 00:27:37.650 Joseph McElroy: yeah I think the you know the one in haywood county that's one angel is a historic farmers markets been going on for a long time.

00:27:38.460 --> 00:27:38.880 William Ritter: Yes.

00:27:38.910 --> 00:27:57.090 Joseph McElroy: it's a pretty classic one you know something else I mentioned, you know, since i'm yeah i'm talking about you know places I like I like barbers orchard orchard in their ways and they have a fruit stand them is just to die for, and they have heirloom apples right.

00:27:57.240 --> 00:28:10.830 Joseph McElroy: So yes, people definitely should look that up so when we come back we'll talk about more more about the you know heirloom seeds and and all sorts of things to do in the mountains.

00:31:00.060 --> 00:31:09.090 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin mcilroy back with the gateway to the smokies podcast and my guest William Richard so William.

00:31:09.630 --> 00:31:18.300 Joseph McElroy: you've already named a few varieties of heirlooms but you know if someone goes to a protest and are farmers farmers market in the smokies what are they looking for.

00:31:19.290 --> 00:31:28.050 William Ritter: Okay, so we talked a little bit about candy register so that's a big one, and like he's mentioned, they can come and all different sorts of shapes and sizes.

00:31:29.460 --> 00:31:38.490 William Ritter: Often they're pretty big it could be intimidatingly large like if you're on vacation and you're like i'm gonna make some pies you probably don't need one the size of a coffee table.

00:31:38.880 --> 00:31:42.420 Joseph McElroy: If you look if you see something looks like a pod from those bodysnatchers.

00:31:42.420 --> 00:31:43.620 Joseph McElroy: you're probably getting close.

00:31:44.820 --> 00:31:45.360 William Ritter: yeah.

00:31:46.800 --> 00:31:51.090 William Ritter: Oh, but, but essentially it's a winter squash sometimes it look kind of like what's called a banana squash.

00:31:51.690 --> 00:31:55.440 William Ritter: And, just to be clear, a winter squash is not grown in the winter unless you're like in Florida.

00:31:56.160 --> 00:32:08.160 William Ritter: It just keeps really well it'll it'll hold over the winter, I actually had a candy roaster last like a year and a half once for went bad it was it started it wasn't an experiment at first, but then it really turned into an experiment.

00:32:09.660 --> 00:32:21.060 William Ritter: But so so that's one thing is the candy roasters that's a big you know squash to be around in the fall, just like when people are put pumpkins out and there are some candy roasters that are shaped like a pumpkin.

00:32:21.810 --> 00:32:27.150 William Ritter: too, and so that'd be a just a thing, where you know me is that when you have any candy roasters or.

00:32:28.800 --> 00:32:36.780 William Ritter: And that So hopefully you find some there, but then in terms, beans one real good indicator of an heirloom being.

00:32:37.830 --> 00:32:47.760 William Ritter: Is that they're really full So if you were to go get like a beans at the grocery store they're like round, all the way around and thin mom and kind of look like.

00:32:48.090 --> 00:33:02.640 William Ritter: A stick or a cylinder well old timey beans were like big fat things i'm you you'd know Joseph but but they they have what what a big seed and then in there when they're in the in the been we call them a bullet.

00:33:03.690 --> 00:33:11.280 William Ritter: Point of trivia but those beans, a real fat they look like they're about to pop they've almost got such a big seed in it and.

00:33:12.150 --> 00:33:19.770 William Ritter: At that stage there's a lot of flavor there's a lot of nutrition, particularly so if you're thinking about in the old days you're trying to you know not.

00:33:20.490 --> 00:33:32.490 William Ritter: Your subsisting on cornbread and and grits and and make some kind of animal you know what kind of meat, you can come by that's probably really heavily salted and smoked.

00:33:33.450 --> 00:33:37.650 William Ritter: And then their genes, but they'd have all this nutrition that's not in.

00:33:38.400 --> 00:33:42.750 William Ritter: A modern grocery store of being it's real thin that the seeds, not even developed it's.

00:33:43.050 --> 00:33:53.610 William Ritter: Like a green thing and we should eat green things but it's not as healthy for us, the big beans, but those my attorneys they get tough, so they can't grow that big because he wouldn't be able to eat them.

00:33:53.760 --> 00:34:01.590 William Ritter: Right so that's that's one thing to look for us as bigger beans and so there's a lot of different kinds and there's October beans and there's also.

00:34:02.160 --> 00:34:13.380 William Ritter: Which are kind of in a late summer early fall they start coming on and they're usually kind of speckled and then sometimes there's so it's called shelly beans and shelley's are just.

00:34:14.070 --> 00:34:29.190 William Ritter: it's like a bean seed that's almost like so right, this is going to start drying to become dormant and it's right before that's like as big as the seeds going to get any they take that out of the pod and then you cook that and, like in a soup soup beams or whatever.

00:34:30.630 --> 00:34:42.090 William Ritter: You know it's nothing like a any you've been you've ever had if you've not had shall always be cook those down there they're so good, I think, someone like call them like mountain into mommy or something.

00:34:44.310 --> 00:34:50.040 William Ritter: But so that's one thing to keep an eye out for and when it comes to tomatoes you're looking for.

00:34:51.000 --> 00:35:01.680 William Ritter: an ugly duckling you know you're looking for like a something that's kind of got cracks all over it, and it's got green on the top but it's but it's like it's not all the way right, so it looks like.

00:35:01.800 --> 00:35:02.670 William Ritter: And that's true.

00:35:02.970 --> 00:35:13.230 Joseph McElroy: And it's not like we get grocery stores here and whole foods up here if they got tomatoes and they look they look like they're both hair color and everything but he's not talking about those and even.

00:35:13.230 --> 00:35:14.520 Joseph McElroy: Though even uglier.

00:35:14.640 --> 00:35:18.570 William Ritter: And yes, yes yeah and probably not grown in a greenhouse in Canada.

00:35:19.920 --> 00:35:28.680 William Ritter: And so yeah they're they're really they they're sometimes you'll get one that's like pristine but that's not average and also not important.

00:35:29.520 --> 00:35:36.600 William Ritter: But they're they're thin is Skinner their their thing is scanner to scan is thinner, that is why they they split you kind of like that.

00:35:37.590 --> 00:35:51.630 William Ritter: And there'll be usually kind of soft and they can come in different colors so you know yellows you'll see a lot you'll see like a pinkish red color and a lot of them are big so they're like big enough you'd slice them and put them on a sandwich or.

00:35:52.440 --> 00:36:01.500 William Ritter: A tomato biscuit which is never had a tomato biscuit it's just manet's and a biscuit and tomato and if that doesn't sound good you haven't tried it.

00:36:02.880 --> 00:36:04.230 Joseph McElroy: I wouldn't have thought that was good.

00:36:04.260 --> 00:36:07.140 William Ritter: Until I had it to made a biscuit in my young life.

00:36:07.170 --> 00:36:11.760 Joseph McElroy: I grew up eating tomato tomato sandwich is that was just saying oh my God.

00:36:11.850 --> 00:36:13.470 William Ritter: Man is right, and so in.

00:36:13.980 --> 00:36:16.200 Joseph McElroy: Real Daddy hellman's man is.

00:36:17.580 --> 00:36:19.770 William Ritter: Well, you know down here a lot, a lot of dukes.

00:36:20.280 --> 00:36:21.090 Joseph McElroy: Do Sir yeah.

00:36:21.150 --> 00:36:30.720 William Ritter: yeah we've got a lot a lot like a Duke Duke fans sometimes basketball and manet's and sometimes just the manet's.

00:36:31.800 --> 00:36:32.250 William Ritter: But.

00:36:33.780 --> 00:36:45.480 William Ritter: So so there's that there's also what's called a Mr stripy and I have to mention that that is like a it's like read on the bottom and yellow on the top and if you cut it open it looks like a sunrise.

00:36:45.930 --> 00:36:51.990 William Ritter: And that's like one of the quintessential mountain heirlooms and it's killing me to even think about eating one right now.

00:36:52.140 --> 00:36:52.830 Joseph McElroy: they're really good.

00:36:53.100 --> 00:36:56.550 William Ritter: they're really good and then there's Tommy toes which are like a cherry tomato.

00:36:57.900 --> 00:36:58.920 William Ritter: is another one.

00:37:00.840 --> 00:37:01.950 Joseph McElroy: Where there's heirloom.

00:37:02.310 --> 00:37:07.200 Joseph McElroy: Fruit right we talked about heirloom apples all these things are a little bit ugly but they're.

00:37:07.650 --> 00:37:11.640 William Ritter: Often yeah yeah heritage tomatoes, I mean our.

00:37:12.180 --> 00:37:15.450 William Ritter: heritage apples, we could talk all day about.

00:37:16.080 --> 00:37:22.020 William Ritter: But yeah but again I mean again you're hearing that like a russet sometimes they're all kind of scarred looking on top those.

00:37:24.990 --> 00:37:36.330 William Ritter: Are the apples, but yeah they're about a lot of it's just asking to at the farmers market, I mean but there's heirlooms and then there's like other heirlooms but ugly is is the tape.

00:37:38.790 --> 00:37:51.150 Joseph McElroy: So if cooking isn't your thing right, so you never go to farmer thing then let's just go eat it why you get it, but we're What would you say where you can work in the spirit some traditional appalachian foodways.

00:37:51.570 --> 00:38:01.740 William Ritter: Well um I off the top of my head, I mean i'd love to have a real complete list of there should be a good listing for that i'm honestly.

00:38:02.010 --> 00:38:03.240 Joseph McElroy: To tell people about a listing.

00:38:03.750 --> 00:38:15.270 William Ritter: yeah right um well, but I do know in asheville there's that benny on eagle I don't know if i'm saying that right, but they have a lot of appalachian and Afro Latin.

00:38:16.410 --> 00:38:29.820 William Ritter: Foods there so that's that places is really, really good there's books and hall Barbecue sometimes they have leather riches I don't know if they might get the health inspector told them they couldn't do letter bridges anymore, which is a crying shame.

00:38:29.850 --> 00:38:30.870 Joseph McElroy: What is leather britches.

00:38:30.990 --> 00:38:35.970 William Ritter: So a leather britches well i'll talk about other races in a second.

00:38:36.000 --> 00:38:52.170 William Ritter: But before that there's the the blind blind pig supper club that's a charity kind of pop up restaurant farm to table thing really need to go to cherokee there's paul's restaurant, which is very famous for really traditional fair.

00:38:53.910 --> 00:39:03.810 William Ritter: You can eat like rabbit and things like that there and then grand kitchen is over in cherokee, and that is a lot of traditional stuff they might not have like green beans and stuff like that, but it's it's pretty traditional appalachian food.

00:39:03.870 --> 00:39:08.520 Joseph McElroy: Well there's I think I heard that bear water grill some good traditional food and.

00:39:08.970 --> 00:39:10.830 Joseph McElroy: They might be doing that and Maggie Valley.

00:39:11.250 --> 00:39:16.830 Joseph McElroy: yeah sweet onion in waynesville those will do some farm to table heirloom stuff as well.

00:39:16.890 --> 00:39:18.930 William Ritter: Oh sure sure yeah well yeah.

00:39:20.340 --> 00:39:25.620 William Ritter: I don't know frog sleeps still there in waynesville but they have some wonderful farm to.

00:39:25.710 --> 00:39:31.200 Joseph McElroy: table so there's lots of there's you know there's there i'll be giving a resource at the end on how to find some of this stuff.

00:39:32.430 --> 00:39:34.920 Joseph McElroy: But there is quite a bit of places to visit.

00:39:35.910 --> 00:39:37.890 Joseph McElroy: You mentioned Linda britches i'm dying to know what the heck.

00:39:38.580 --> 00:39:38.910 Joseph McElroy: yeah.

00:39:39.360 --> 00:39:41.940 William Ritter: I know I didn't know that this was going to be like.

00:39:42.660 --> 00:39:52.770 William Ritter: On zoom video or I would have I would have held up some leather wretches but um maybe you might have heard them called chef beans or szaky beans, possibly.

00:39:53.820 --> 00:40:03.360 William Ritter: But all that is is that back before or new fangled canning technology, where you could preserve your your stuff by canning it.

00:40:04.530 --> 00:40:06.780 William Ritter: And even before you know pickling it.

00:40:08.250 --> 00:40:20.550 William Ritter: People would take their beans still in the hall in in the in the green bean hole, and they would either put it on a piece of twine I use a guitar string.

00:40:21.210 --> 00:40:32.190 William Ritter: But on a or a real waxy strong thread, or sometimes they just put it out over a screen or on a tin roof or in an old car that drives them out real good.

00:40:33.300 --> 00:40:38.790 William Ritter: And then, what happens is they dry up and they turn time it kind of brownish sometimes it look a little green still.

00:40:40.200 --> 00:40:50.730 William Ritter: And, and they look a lot like leather and you can only use certain types of beans for this, by the way, because they have to be like a tender hold to being and you couldn't use you couldn't go to the grocery store again.

00:40:51.090 --> 00:40:57.240 William Ritter: and get some of those modern beans and put a string through, it would be like leather because they get tough.

00:40:57.600 --> 00:40:59.220 William Ritter: But, but what you do is.

00:40:59.670 --> 00:41:12.330 William Ritter: Sad those and you they dry and then you can eat them later in the year when you no longer have beans, you know, so you can keep you all through the winter, but what you do is you just cook them you basically not been cooked but you just you know you take that string off that's important.

00:41:13.650 --> 00:41:21.060 William Ritter: And you put them down in water, and you know big piece of fat pack or something in there, and you just cook it for a good while.

00:41:21.330 --> 00:41:32.760 William Ritter: And it turns into this like completely different thing it's not like green beans, but it is, and anyone that really grew up on leather britches usually it mentioned it, they just like salivate and they're.

00:41:32.760 --> 00:41:35.820 William Ritter: Like also frustrated because they're like I can't have that.

00:41:37.200 --> 00:41:38.700 William Ritter: Where do you go for leather riches.

00:41:38.790 --> 00:41:41.670 Joseph McElroy: wow I didn't have that part of my tradition.

00:41:41.670 --> 00:41:43.500 Joseph McElroy: So interesting there's lots of there's.

00:41:43.530 --> 00:41:50.340 Joseph McElroy: lots of things in the mountains that are very specific to a particular communities and don't necessarily translate the other ones right.

00:41:50.370 --> 00:41:55.470 William Ritter: Sure well any you never know when Maybe someone in your family might have had a bad experience so that.

00:41:57.210 --> 00:42:00.060 William Ritter: i'm not doing that anymore canning is much easier.

00:42:00.540 --> 00:42:03.030 William Ritter: I don't want ugly things all over my torch.

00:42:03.870 --> 00:42:10.470 Joseph McElroy: So if somebody wanted to grow some of this stuff and get some seeds are heirloom seeds to grow in their gardens were being a good place.

00:42:11.280 --> 00:42:34.410 William Ritter: uh well, one that I talked about a lot, because I think they do a really big job is and it's I think it's but that's the sustainable mountain agriculture farm, it was in berea Kentucky but, but now it's moved to somewhere in Tennessee to to near another university there.

00:42:35.880 --> 00:42:42.360 William Ritter: And you can go on their website and they have a great selection of just I mean honest to goodness heirloom seeds, I mean they're the stuff that were.

00:42:42.540 --> 00:42:55.290 William Ritter: passed down and people's families and and all the different kinds, you can be so educated by going there and look up pink tips and October beans and Greens, the beans and cut shorts, and I mean it just there's all these kinds of beans it's incredible.

00:42:56.430 --> 00:43:07.920 William Ritter: Southern appalachian the richest seed shed most most different kinds of seeds in North America right in central Mexico which, to be second to central Mexico and seeds is is incredible.

00:43:09.120 --> 00:43:12.570 William Ritter: So that that's an important.

00:43:15.360 --> 00:43:17.130 William Ritter: that's an important place to go.

00:43:18.390 --> 00:43:23.460 William Ritter: there's also so true seeds just talking about regionally in asheville.

00:43:24.450 --> 00:43:32.070 William Ritter: There you can they have a catalog you can also go to the actual store that's really nice and they have their seeds, you know a little little farmers.

00:43:32.610 --> 00:43:44.220 William Ritter: markets and and places there's also also going to feed and seeds, those are huge bryson city farm supply has great seeds, but you know that for me is like tourism, like, I want to go to the feed and see.

00:43:45.120 --> 00:43:56.040 William Ritter: If I see an old hardware store my Ah yes i'm there that's that wasn't for me, but also very brief self promotion, I do have some seeds for adoption on my website.

00:43:56.430 --> 00:44:06.660 Joseph McElroy: cool so when we come back we'll finish up with you tell us a little bit about what you're doing and resources and I will also tell you some resources to do some agricultural tourism in about.

00:46:25.290 --> 00:46:39.780 Joseph McElroy: howdy this is Joseph Franklin back holroyd back with the gateway to the smokies podcast with my guest William Ritter, so William you have a you have a organization called song to see, can you tell us about that.

00:46:41.340 --> 00:46:43.890 William Ritter: Well organization makes it sound bigger than it is.

00:46:45.270 --> 00:46:47.310 Joseph McElroy: Always always dressed for what you want to be.

00:46:48.630 --> 00:46:49.230 William Ritter: i'm wearing.

00:46:49.440 --> 00:46:51.810 William Ritter: wearing a flannel Plaid so I guess.

00:46:56.010 --> 00:46:58.110 William Ritter: um yeah so some good seed.

00:46:59.310 --> 00:47:07.740 William Ritter: is something it's been a little hard for me to actually have a elevator speech for for a while, because it's not just an organization or a project to.

00:47:09.060 --> 00:47:15.690 William Ritter: kind of share and spread seeds, which is part of it, but really kind of zooming out from that to think about.

00:47:17.610 --> 00:47:27.690 William Ritter: Really, how this can be like a metaphorical seed for all kinds of different appalachian folkways what I am trying to do with my work is to.

00:47:28.530 --> 00:47:44.820 William Ritter: is to a highlight people that I don't think maybe as our that I want to give credit to people who I don't think get credit, whether they're older story to tell us, or just people that are like really you know living there appalachian life but but.

00:47:45.960 --> 00:47:48.030 William Ritter: You know, maybe they're not getting half credit for that.

00:47:49.080 --> 00:47:57.000 William Ritter: But also, you know i'm really thinking about these folk ways, whether it's it's dance Community dances all playing for dances and organizing them.

00:47:57.780 --> 00:48:10.350 William Ritter: Whether it's a you know getting together these old tile old style working bees, which is like a been stringing or corn shucking where people get together and all you get big crowd to get a big job done quickly it's like a barn raising that's.

00:48:10.560 --> 00:48:11.910 William Ritter: thankful working be.

00:48:12.120 --> 00:48:23.400 William Ritter: i'd like to see that kind of stuff come back and within those reconnect all these different folkways together, where they used to be and where I think they held each other up better.

00:48:24.420 --> 00:48:36.270 William Ritter: Rather than kind of separating them into their their little idols I don't think they're they stand as well without the context, like the context is is key, I mean like the joke for old time music is it's better than it sounds.

00:48:38.340 --> 00:48:47.070 William Ritter: So I mean there's there's that but that's really what what i'm aiming to do is is is yes to share seeds, but also to really encourage.

00:48:47.580 --> 00:48:56.400 William Ritter: You know people to pick up music and and end it and to really get their name or their neighbor like I talked about seed saving as a Community act old time music is a Community at dancing is.

00:48:56.880 --> 00:49:05.850 William Ritter: The Act, these are all Community building things that these rural communities used to really rely on me if you think that couldn't figure that like you know you worked on your.

00:49:06.780 --> 00:49:21.450 William Ritter: Pretty large family farm let's say and you had like nine brothers and sisters and your parents and your grandma but you didn't really see anybody else but them from us to the day, the place you'd go, you know it was like a dance to meet other people.

00:49:21.990 --> 00:49:22.890 William Ritter: In the Community to.

00:49:22.950 --> 00:49:38.760 William Ritter: Get that that kind of fellowship if it wasn't a church, which you know, there was that, too, but that that those are really important when people were disconnected and I think we're disconnected again we're really disconnected now i'm with everything that's going on, as they say.

00:49:38.820 --> 00:49:39.900 Joseph McElroy: yeah right now.

00:49:39.930 --> 00:49:47.700 William Ritter: yeah we are really disconnected I mean, even before the Panda and I was thinking like you know, politically, there is this golf and I, my hope and.

00:49:48.540 --> 00:50:00.750 William Ritter: and ambition is really to try to you know make better neighbors and try to get people to see and hear each other and and maybe see their fun the mental humanity other you know dancing together.

00:50:02.070 --> 00:50:11.520 William Ritter: So i'm so sorry to see it as is kind of vague in some ways it's an official name for kind of the the entirety of all this stuff that I do, which is a lot.

00:50:11.730 --> 00:50:13.590 William Ritter: Whether it's teaching fiddle lesson.

00:50:14.730 --> 00:50:31.680 William Ritter: Or what I do a lot of different things, but it's all around the same kind of idea of you know enriching communities, hopefully revitalizing rural communities and you know getting people, especially young people like to buy in and again and live here so.

00:50:32.370 --> 00:50:35.760 Joseph McElroy: there's a lot to it, so how do How do people get Ahold of you.

00:50:36.570 --> 00:50:51.030 William Ritter: Well, I do have song to see calm and so you know you can contact me there, we also have a Facebook um and we also have an instagram but that's that's pretty much the gist of it.

00:50:51.930 --> 00:50:53.820 Joseph McElroy: You about your your YouTube channel, I saw.

00:50:53.850 --> 00:50:56.280 William Ritter: Oh, I do yeah that's very fresh that's very.

00:50:56.430 --> 00:50:58.860 William Ritter: Well it's not fresh and like a cool way it's just very new.

00:51:00.090 --> 00:51:12.420 William Ritter: I did, I do have my own YouTube channel, but I say I need to kind of split off that because there's a whole gaggle of things on on my regular YouTube but, but the song the seeds, where I have.

00:51:14.100 --> 00:51:25.470 William Ritter: Some of the original songs that i've written about heirlooms kind of my educational songs that's also where I will be putting some more kind of like how to kind of stuff with with traditional gardening.

00:51:25.830 --> 00:51:35.700 William Ritter: And also, I have a storyteller on there so that's another part of work, working with Bobby McMillan is one storyteller and ballad singer particularly that i've.

00:51:36.810 --> 00:51:42.450 William Ritter: been working with a lot as a good friend of mine, and so I have him telling an old old folk tale.

00:51:42.720 --> 00:51:43.770 Joseph McElroy: Yes, yeah.

00:51:43.830 --> 00:51:49.830 Joseph McElroy: Well, thank you for coming and being on the show we have some we had a lot of questions we didn't get to show.

00:51:50.010 --> 00:51:50.430 William Ritter: All right.

00:51:50.910 --> 00:51:52.170 Joseph McElroy: And I think that'll be great.

00:51:52.170 --> 00:51:52.740 So.

00:51:53.880 --> 00:52:02.850 Joseph McElroy: I want everybody to if you want to find out more about haywood county or agritourism, which is big as actually a big thing in the mountains.

00:52:03.540 --> 00:52:10.860 Joseph McElroy: You can go to gateways to the smokies dot fun, which is the site for this podcast where there's a lot there's a previous podcast there's.

00:52:11.430 --> 00:52:18.600 Joseph McElroy: Articles posted different resources and right at the top on the on the on the far right is a there's a haywood county.

00:52:19.080 --> 00:52:34.200 Joseph McElroy: agritourism map and PDF information week you can go to that and it's got its got maps is got listings of all sorts of agritourism related businesses farms restaurants yeah you know.

00:52:35.190 --> 00:52:47.850 Joseph McElroy: You know the tree farms all sorts of wonderful experiences to have in the Near and around the smoky mountains to do outdoor experience, so please go to that site.

00:52:48.840 --> 00:53:00.600 Joseph McElroy: I got a couple other self promotion items now imagine a place evocative of motor courts of the past and modern and vibrant with a chic appalachian fee.

00:53:01.170 --> 00:53:16.560 Joseph McElroy: a place for adventure and for relaxation imagine a place where you can fish and a mountain heritage trout farm grill the catch on the fire and he accompanied by fine wine and craft beer and get it heirloom tomato made into a sandwich.

00:53:18.720 --> 00:53:27.450 Joseph McElroy: method, a place with old time music and world cultural sounds there's no other place like the metal art motel and Maggie valley North Carolina.

00:53:27.930 --> 00:53:32.610 Joseph McElroy: We are the starting point for all the ventures and the surrounding the mountains have to offer.

00:53:33.030 --> 00:53:44.640 Joseph McElroy: Your smoky mountain adventure starts with where you stay stay at the middle or motel you know the middle of motel calm to find out, we have all sorts of events, ranging from music to.

00:53:45.270 --> 00:53:57.840 Joseph McElroy: Two tours to storytelling and and it's only we're developing into a mountain heritage Center over time so keep keep in the loop on that I want to mention.

00:53:58.410 --> 00:54:03.330 Joseph McElroy: This to sponsors i'm involved with both of them smokies

00:54:03.900 --> 00:54:12.810 Joseph McElroy: And it's an information listings about the smokies his emphasis is on outdoor recreation outdoor life events like weddings and adventures.

00:54:13.110 --> 00:54:31.290 Joseph McElroy: Along with pride in providing information on lodging family entertainment waterfalls events conventions honeymoons and more this site is becoming the leading information for wired where to go what to do in the mountains of the smoky mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

00:54:33.000 --> 00:54:42.660 Joseph McElroy: i'm also part of where traveler where traveler is 80 year old magazine that you've probably seen in motels or hotels around the world.

00:54:43.050 --> 00:54:50.400 Joseph McElroy: has been focused on cities for this entire existence and about where to do what to do in the cities.

00:54:50.760 --> 00:54:57.570 Joseph McElroy: Well, I have convinced them to focus also on regions and one of them is the first one is the great smoky mountains region.

00:54:58.020 --> 00:55:20.910 Joseph McElroy: which encompasses Eastern Tennessee and and Western North Carolina as well as the great smoky mountains National Park, is actually the size of Massachusetts in terms of scope, scope and there's many towns, cities and and and other and other tourist attractions, to visit in these mountains.

00:55:21.930 --> 00:55:38.130 Joseph McElroy: And we are creating a destination area where there's going to be in depth stories about the people and events and and culture that exists in these mountains and they're also be a listings there for the major.

00:55:39.360 --> 00:55:52.920 Joseph McElroy: Major things to be doing for waiting from the biltmore states to dollywood so please visit where slash great smoky mountains this this this podcast is on the talk.

00:55:54.000 --> 00:56:07.920 Joseph McElroy: Talk radio dot nyc network there's lots of great podcasts on the show, in fact, I have another one that's business related called wise content creates wealth on Fridays from one to two after this.

00:56:08.610 --> 00:56:16.980 Joseph McElroy: This podcast today there's one on New York City, so you could stay around your been in the small town rural area now go visit the big towns.

00:56:17.370 --> 00:56:27.000 Joseph McElroy: And so stick around and listen to that podcast it's very great, I appreciate it next week with another great gateway the smokies podcast Thank you William and we'll see you that.

00:56:27.210 --> 00:56:27.630 You.

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