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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    Comment number 81.

    Another request for the recipe, please.

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    Comment number 82.

    I love Edwardian Farm. Ruth, Peter and Alex are such lovely people. They come over as truly interested in the work they are doing for the programme and as a result, we are interested too. So many reality programmes seem to just want to make fools of the participants. Let's have more of the "Farm" programmes and maybe some similar series depicting our social history. Well done BBC.
    Yes, I'd like the recipe for the "Cut Rounds" too.

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    Comment number 83.

    I too love this series. I love being able to find out about things which really interest me which means crafts, being self suffiicient etc. I would love the cut rounds recipe too please.

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    Comment number 84.

    As a family, my husband, 11 year old history mad daughter and myself have really found this series interesting and enjoyable. thank you
    in the last to been shown episode Ruth with the Chef Richard Hunt was making 'cut rounds'. I have been through all my recipe books (and i have a few and some very old ones) but can't find this recipe anywhere. We often have scones and these sound like a lovely change.
    So, Ruth or any of the team on the programme can the recipe by posted somewhere please?

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    Comment number 85.

    Love watching Edwardian Farm, especially Episode 9. Would very much like to get hold of the recipe for the "cut rounds" featured in that episode. Can't find anything similar on the web. Can anybody help, please?

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    Comment number 86.

    Try this for recipe for "Cut Rounds"
    170g/6oz self-raising flour
    170g/6oz plain flour
    ½ tsp salt
    ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
    290ml/½ pint buttermilk

    1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6.
    2. Tip the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl and stir.
    3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the buttermilk, mixing quickly with a large fork to form a soft dough. (Depending upon the absorbency of the flour, you may need to add a little milk if the dough seems too stiff but it should not be too wet or sticky.)
    4. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly.
    5. Form into a long round sausage and then cut from length the thickness rounds you require and place on floured baking sheet.
    6. Bake for about 30 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
    As mentioned on the programme it is the interaction between the Bicarb and the Buttermilk that will cause the mixture to rise.
    Add dried fruit if using for cream tea's.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 88.

    Thank you so much for the recipe for cut rounds! I am another who will be trying it out! Watch this space for the results!!!!

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    Comment number 89.

    Sorry everyone, I had another recipe for cut rounds but the moderators wouldnt allow me to credit the source of the recipe so I am unable to post. :(

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    Thank you to "dontblameme" for the Cut Rounds recipe. It sounds like the one we saw on Edwardian Farm. I will try it as soon as I get the buttermilk.
    My husband and I led a self-sufficient life for many years, with sheep, chickens and most of our own grown veg and fruit. We do some of the growing now, but age has meant that we decided to give up the animals. Modern rural life gives us that choice. It must have been a very hard life for the elderly smallholders in the past.

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    Comment number 91.

    The recipe looks good, but didn't the one on the programme have milk powder in it, and that was what makes it bready? Really want to try this recipe!

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    Comment number 92.

    I have watched both the Victorian Farm and the Edwardian Farm series and absolutely adore them. Both my self and my husband think what a great shame it is to loose these ways of life. lets get back to the simple ways of life, yes very hard work but so rewarding. Can we suggest though, that you have the recipes on the programmes site, can we have the full recipe for cut rounds please?

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    Comment number 93.

    Richard Hunt, the chef shown on the programme, has made his recipe available on another message board. You can find it here: http://www.wildfood.info/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2912#unread

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Programme producers - please post the cut rounds recipe used in the programme. Thanks, from a desperate scone-eater.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    I have really enjoyed watching the current series and was wondering if you can tell me where the teasets used by the tourists for 'Empire Day' were sourced or even the makers or model numbers would be helpful. I collect older teasets, such as the ones used, and use them at every given opportnuity. Any help with this would be hugely appreciated.

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    Comment number 96.

    sorry forgot to mention i am particularly interested in the teasets which had matching teapots. Thanks and here's hoping that you can help me.

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    Comment number 97.

    thanks for another brilliant series aunty beeb. It is fascinating to see just how different life was then. I went to Morewellam many years ago and found the whole place amazing. Did they really live there for a year? And did the normal tourists visiting the village get to see them and what they were doing?

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Thanks for posting the link to the site for the cut rounds recipe (for anyone else wanting to use this - you need to scroll down quite a way!) and to Richard Hunt for providing it. Looking forward to the next episode!

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    What brilliant programmes! I have watched the Victorian Farm and am now currently watching Edwardian Farm . I was lucky to recieve the Victorian Farm book for christmas from my daughter, the book is a brilliant read too! All three of you have brought so much information to us. Thank you!


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