Edwardian Farm: The hard graft of country life

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Our Edwardian Farm year is over! We have packed up the cottage, sent the animals off to their new homes and said a reluctant goodbye to all the many local people who so generously helped us.

But although it's over for the farming team and the crew - you can join us at the very beginning when the new series airs tonight on BBC Two.

It has been such a full year, hardly time to breathe let alone think. Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and I are now quite a long standing team. Having lived through a 1620s year for Tales Of The Green Valley and then an 1880s year for Victorian Farm together we know each other well and have all ended up with our own interests and responsibilities.

This year we moved the filming to Devon, at Morwellham Quay, and while the action is based primarily on the farm, the new location allowed us to explore other aspects of the working countryside, including rivers, coasts and mining.

Peter's soft spot this year was for his fish. When it was suggested that we should have a go at hatching and raising trout for the sport fishing trade, Alex and I were rather sceptical, but Peter got stuck in immediately.

The odd contraption in the woods was regularly fiddled with and lovingly supplied with fresh juicy maggots throughout the summer. I don't know who was most surprised at its success, Peter or us.

Alex arrived for the year with his own cockerel - Sunny - under one arm, determined to make a go of poultry farming. My, was that cockerel pampered.

As we accurately portray the life of the era and the roles played by men and women, I always get the domestic work, which whilst it does mean loads of cleaning and washing also means that I get to do loads of cooking and making things, both of which I really enjoy.


Ooh the food of this region has been a joy - scrummy and interesting. I also got a bike - wheeeeeee!!! The freedom, the speed, you have no idea of the sense of liberation.

Around the farm Peter supplied the most astonishing amount of muscle. Think you need a machine to do that job? Ha! Call Peter! It is not possible to overstate just how physical Edwardian country life was.

We have certainly all worked our socks off, farming, mining, scrubbing, fishing, a thousand and one jobs. Definitely worth it though, we have had a great year, so interesting, loads of fun and wonderful, wonderful people.

Ruth Goodman is a participant in Edwardian Farm.

Edwardian Farm is on BBC Two at 8pm on Wednesday, 10 November.

For further programme times, please visit the upcoming episodes page.

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  • Comment number 136. Posted by AskME

    on 12 Feb 2011 22:12

    I like the above John1961 idea, even though I suggested them doing a 'family 18thc network' exploration of country cousin farmer and city cousin Butcher & Tripe Dresser.
    Including a Grazier cousin.
    Perhaps not a stone age series though, but that little looked at - long period in between the stone age and the Iron age. The Bronze age. There was a 1970s series set in the iron age...but they were an isolated group and plagued with health problems & over earnest hippie-ness

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  • Comment number 135. Posted by John1961

    on 10 Feb 2011 14:35

    Having very much enjoyed Victorian and Edwardian Farm but having missed Tales from the Green Valley I would suggest a possible theme for another series-
    PreHistoric Farm- In which the intrepid trio attempt to survive and prosper in the stone age.
    I could see one of the lads as the hunter-gatherer and the other introducing the new idea of keeping animals and growing crops.
    Ruth would as always be the hardworking organised person who shows us reality
    television at its best.
    From trapping, hunting, building shelters the earliest mining and primitive technology- being able to fashion a flint spear tip or bow and arrow-there is plenty there for a compelling series.
    By way of reward for undertaking such a series perhaps it should be set not in a wet and wintry England but a sunny south of France or similar.



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  • Comment number 134. Posted by Isobelsjc

    on 4 Feb 2011 16:01

    Myself and my 4 year old Daughter absolutely loved this series! We are currently working through some of the recipes....the Cut rounds are lovely (the baking powder amount seems a lot, but works) and so simple. The clotted cream didn't work anywhere near as well (not quite worked out why yet)!
    My little girl now wants to watch much more of Ruth and those 'silly boys' as she calls Peter and Alex! What can they do next??

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  • Comment number 133. Posted by Ragnarok3

    on 4 Feb 2011 13:44

    What a wonderful series. It's such a pleasure to watch presenters who are enthusiastic about what they do, unlike that awful "Rome Wasn't Built in a Day" on C4, which seems to be all about the personal shortcomings of a bunch of incompetent builders. Just imagine what Peter, Alex and Ruth could have made of it instead!

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  • Comment number 132. Posted by Evianfrost

    on 30 Jan 2011 05:52

    I LOVEDDDDDDDDDDDDDD Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm. I was amazed at how well Alex, Peter, and Ruth worked as a team, something not heard of here in America. Most of our shows display person(s) who are selfish minded, not-so bright, and are written by people who have virtually no artistic vision at all. I was so inspired by the shows that I actually made it my mission to change the way I live. When I think of all the shows here in America that teach us absolutely nothing, but rather lowers our IQs it makes me skip on watching American shows. My husband and I were teary-eyed to see the last of Alex, Peter, and Ruth. To see divergent thinking at its best was a treat indeed. Ruth, since I've seen the show, I've become a Victorian/Edwardian Chef in my kitchen (cooking from scratch), and I've been putting seaweed in the garden just like you said. My teen son has learned a lot from Peter and Alex and said he wishes they were his teachers at school. My six year old daughter also fell in love with the show because of the animals. We live in the city, and it gets to be annoying with all the pollution, traffic, crime, new age technology, and noise ..............it was nice to break away from the everyday scene and get a chance to look into a time in which people were self-sufficient and environmentally friendly. Also, I would like to add that we enjoyed watching the tradesmen and the crafty women for the insightfully entertaining skills displayed on the show. Thank You BBC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Comment number 131. Posted by Martin Casey

    on 23 Jan 2011 20:29

    The Edwardian Farm series was brilliant. thought provoking and emotionally involving. it really brought to life an era in history.Illuminating the lives and explaining the trials, tribulations (and joy) of life in that age. The team "living" the life were brilliant, thoroughly engrossed in acting out the yearlong Edwardian farming existance. No praise is too high. More historical re-enactments such as this please, especially from this team.

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  • Comment number 130. Posted by Oldends

    on 23 Jan 2011 17:25

    Thoroughly enjoyed this series as we did the previous two. What next, we wonder, for this excellent team?

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  • Comment number 129. Posted by Tedward47

    on 22 Jan 2011 09:55

    Hi thomad42. The blacksmith's name is Simon Summers and you can find a link to a newspaper article about him here: http://www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk/news/Smithy-Simon-forges-ahead-TV/article-3126983-detail/article.html

    While the series was being filmed Simon was living and working at Morwellham but has now moved to Totnes.

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  • Comment number 128. Posted by thomab42

    on 20 Jan 2011 14:53

    The series just continued to get better and better. Compulsive viewing.

    I missed the name of the weathervane maker but he topped off the farmhouse and the series. A real work of art.

    Thank you all

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  • Comment number 127. Posted by elisabethdrake

    on 20 Jan 2011 12:02

    What a truly wonderful programme! Please can we have more, this is the good old BBC at its very best!
    Thank you!

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