Edwardian Farm: The hard graft of country life

Wednesday 10 November 2010, 12:00

Ruth Goodman Ruth Goodman

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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.

Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands and Ruth Goodman in Edwardian Farm

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.

Ruth Goodman on her bike

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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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Can you please remind me what breed of sheep you went for in the Edwardian Farm?

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Fantastic....I live on the Cornish side of the Tamar......just opposite where thsi is being filmed. Only one complaint.......WHY does the narrator keep calling it Morewellam??? It was pronounced correctly at the start of the programme....It's More-Well-Ham!!!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Another fantastic series. Thanks aunty.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    We have hugely enjoyed watching the Victorian farm programmes. They've also been a great way to learn about history for my children. I home educate one of them and am grateful for this help with history so I have spread the 'Victorian Farm' word to the home education groups that we belong to.
    The subjects have been fascinating and the presenters are so likeable. Thanks to everyone responsible for such interesting, entertaining and educational programmes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    'It has been such a full year, hardly time to breathe let alone think.'
    '... we have had a great year, so interesting, loads of fun ... '
    Forgive me if this has been covered elsewhere, but do the three people really spend a full year at the farm? I mean, are they actually living at the farm for at least, say, 300 of the 365 days and nights?


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