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Through the years, the BBC has produced 4 excellent documentary series on period farming.
These are all currently available on You Tube.
Below is a current listing of links to each of these.

"Tales From The Green Valley" 12 Episodes, 30 minutes each.
This was set in 1620 Wales. Things were pretty primitive in this era.
For discussions of this documentary, go to: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/14066#125529













Next comes Victorian Farm" 6 Episodes, 59 minutes each.
This was set in the Victorian Era (1850-1900). 'Modern' conveniences made life a little easier.
For discussions on this documentary, go to: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/26432#207970

EDIT by judith to add videos. EDIT by Nicole to fix videos
Apparently the long versions aren't on youtube anymore...here are shorter parts of each of the episodes. Maybe the full length ones will be back soon.







Victorian Farm Christmas





The 3rd series "Edwardian Farm" 12 Episodes, 59 minutes each.
The industrial revolution has moved onto the farm at this point in history.
For discussions on this documentary, go to: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/26433#207972

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrSB6RZbIhY [/youtube]











The final listing is for "Wartime Farm" 8 Episodes, 59 minutes each.
As World War II hit England, she relied on imports for 2/3 of her food. U-Boat blockades were starving her.
Time for drastic changes in agricultural practices.
For discussions on this documentary, go to: http://www.permies.com/forums/posts/list/26434#207974













Tudor Monastery Farm








COMMENTS:
 
gardener
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I've seen some of these. They document the arrival of new machines that cut down on labor as well as the introduction of new spices as the empire expanded and the advent of sugar being more than a rich person's novelty. food preservation evolved quite a bit during the periods covered. The people in the series aren't just actors. They are immersed in the lifestyle and technology of the era for the duration. Luckily, they don't suffer through war or a cholera outbreak.
 
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John, these docs are going to keep my little mind occupied for time, I just love seeing how the 'oldie folkie lived. Tribes, and culture are just one of my thangs. My brother will also like these too. Thankyou for your time and effort.

fiona, long time medieval prarie- fairy

WARNING TO ALL FORUMERS:

you may not hear from me for a wee while
 
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I am a big fan of these shows. I love that there is no interpersonal drama only fascinating information.

I am also happy to share the newest series: Tudor Monastery Farm. It's very enjoyable as well. The main change with this one is that Alex is not present (apparently he was working on his doctorate) and there are only 6 episodes with 5 being available at this time. Tom something is the new guy and I think he fits in well.









Highly recommended.
 
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That's a good outline but the BBC keeps doing these historical documentary style TV series. I've tried to outline them on the wiki page linked below.

http://tspwiki.com/index.php?title=BBC%27s_historical_gardening_TV_series
 
gardener
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I have watched three of the four listed and loved the wealth of information spread among them. They included a lot of details, sometimes in passing, that would have taken hours or days of researching in very old books to locate. I felt compelled to take notes while watching them just so I wouldn't forget all of the lovely data. I also enjoyed a lot of the <whatever> House shows done by the PBS and BBC sets. Edwardian House, Frontier House, Colonial House, 1900 House, etc. While these latter were less useful for being true documentary in nature, they give a lot of insights how average people are prone to acting when put into less modern situations. I think they also went a long way to showing just how subtle aspects of various times affected how history might have played out. Colonial House and Texas Ranch House especially showed just how the nature of how things were done affected the way people must have thought and acted. Still, if one had to choose, I would say go with the Historical Farming set if you want to get the most learning about details of the time periods.
 
Jon McBrayer
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Good find D. Logan! Made notes to add these to my article.
 
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bump....if anyone notices when the 'Victorian' or 'Edwardian' farm episodes are back on youtube full length please post here and we can re embed them.
 
pollinator
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My husband and I just finished the Green Valley series - very well done and lots of good tidbits.  The roofing episodes were particularly interesting.  Thatching is one of those things that just doesn't seem like it should work, and yet obviously does! 

I also found it notable that they had a separate space for working with dairy.  The lady I learned cheesemaking from said that old time cheesemakers baked bread and made cheese in different areas - or else the bread contaminates it.  And yeasty cheese does taste grody.  They didn't explain this in the video, but they had a very nice, limewashed dairy room for dairy products, and baked bread in the house.
 
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