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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hooked On Victorian Farm

I have been hooked on Victorian Farm on YouTube for the last several days.  It was suggested by a commenter on Jenna Woginrich's blog Cold Antler Farm.

Normally, I detest reality shows, mostly because they aren't real, and the people in them are generally unlikable, but this one was engrossing because the folks that were living out their year on a Victorian farm were chosen because of their fields of study: two archeologist historians and a domestic history expert, so they had a lot of good information to share.  And they lived it right down to their hobnail boots.  I've been thinking about that; where in the world did they find hobnail boots?  The second time I watched the whole thing, I took notes.  As in stopped the video and wrote it down.

I've been considering roofing the chicken coop with slate flooring because we have a lot of it- now I know how to do it.

I've thought that if things get so bad in the future that we have to bathe in a tub in front of the wood stove in the living room, well, now I know how to manage it.  I hope we won't have to, but at least I'll know how.

When something needed doing that the three could not do, or if they needed particular help, there was always an expert of one kind or another in these old crafts that could help them or show them how.  I don't think we have so many of those running around the states, but in Jolly Old England (Shropshire, specifically) they seem to have a lot of them.  A neighboring sheep farmer, a basket maker, a wheelwright, a neighboring farmer that could drive a Shire horse, a horse-drawn plowing expert, a couple of horse-drawn binder-reaper experts- these people were there to help show how it was done, and with antique machinery.

I can't help but feel that more of this would be a very good thing.  Years ago I was smitten by the Foxfire books; my parents bought me my first one for Christmas when I was a teenager.  Knowing the old ways of doing things is usually, not always, but usually the more sustainable way.  I think in this time of diminishing resources and tighter budgets, knowing some of these old crafts, tricks, and ways of living could be a very helpful thing.  As Peter on Victorian Farm said farming isn't a living, it's a lifestyle.  A very hard working but rewarding lifestyle.

I need to look for more of this kind of thing, which I hope is out there, because I'm hooked.


Jenny Debeaux said...

The same team is actually doing The Edwardian Farm now, so in time it might be on YouTube, too. I saw part of the first programme on Friday - I couldn't watch the whole lot, so I taped it for watching later. It looks good.....

I don't know if you could download the iPlayer from the BBC website -
- and then watch the series that way. Good luck if you do try, though.

Paula said...

Thanks Jenny- I'll try it!

Paula said...

Nope- no can do. I guess I'll have to wait for Edwardian Farm to come out on DVD and then see if my tricksy husband can figure out how we can see it.

I was thinking this evening I'd like to see them do Georgian Farm as well, and maybe Elizabethan Farm.

Dawn Dutton said...

Paula, I saw that on Jenna's blog as well and watched a bit of it. I hope to watch more when I am snowed in. Taking notes is a great idea...
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family...

Paula said...

Thanks, Dawn, and to you and yours as well. I went to Amazon, and Victorian Farm is in a book as well. I need to see if our library has it (they surprise me sometimes with the stuff they have) and see if there's as much info in the book. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of it the way I did. Cheers!

Dani said...

Hi Paula

If you liked "Victorian Farm" - you'll LOVE the earlier programme "Tales from the Green Valley".

It has the three charaters (Ruth, Alex and ?)from VF + 2 others and provides more detail than VF. I so enjoyed VF that I purchased the 2 X DVD box set of TFTGV I didn't move from my chair in front of the computer for 12 hours LOL