I am currently watching few TV series I either never watched or would just want to see again, so my evening schedule is pretty busy sometimes. Still, after solving murders with the CSI team, getting ideas about home designs from Grand Designs or watching sitcoms and medical dramas, I can’t say no to something new. And Edwardian Farm was something new for me.
Can’t say how I found it weeks ago, but I started watching the first episode and got hooked.
Edwardian Farm is, like the title is already hinting, a TV show based on the history of those certain years (the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th. Three well versed people when it comes to history (historian Ruth Goodman plus archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn) will spend an entire year at Morwellham Quay, an historic quay in Devon.
Far from the modern life amenities, they need to survive on their own and also learn most of the trades farmers had to be good at back then. We can get a nice image of what life used to be more than a century ago, who they used to dress like, what they ate, what needed to be done in a farm to be able to make it.
Ruth has to deal with the housekeeping, which, back then wasn’t such a breeze. All the washing had to be done by hand, the floors had to be scrubbed twice a day, cooking wasn’t as glamorous as it is today. Really hard work, no electricity and an insanely tiresome daily schedule.
The men had to make sure all the crops were doing well, cared for the cattle, the poultry, repaired stuff on the farm and also tried all kind of trades that were common in Devon 100 years ago. Life on a farm didn’t mean only feeding the animals and taking care of the crops, they had to learn new trades, so that they can earn more money. Our Edwardian farmers get to learn how to fish, mine and market garden, while getting to understand how things were made back then.
It’s really thrilling to see how they can get copper out of some rusted metal, how they breed trout (playing ‘god’ as they say), how a furnace was made, what mining was like etc. We get to see a smithy creating some outstanding tools and decorations, carpenters, a horse trainer taming a wild pony.
At the end of the year their farm is doing great. Good crops, the livestock is healthy and well cared for, it’s a pity to see it all get back to inactivity, as the area was for decades. For the 3 the experience has been difficult (a lot of bone breaking work), but exciting at the same time, while for us, the people who watched the series, a great way to understand how people lived in the last century.
The landscape is absolutely amazing and there are so many thrilling details to be seen, it would be a pity to miss this show. I really recommend it.