Ploughs, Cows and Clover
Garden designer Chris Beardshaw explores how East Anglia has helped feed the world. Five objects tell the story of a revolution in farming that gives the region a unique place in the history of the world. His journey takes him from north Norfolk, where 300 years ago Thomas Coke invented a new way of growing crops on the glorious Holkham Estate, to Suffolk where an accident in a foundry led to a self-sharpening blade that would be used in ploughs across the world. There was even one pulled by elephants!
There are amazing machines. In a barn in Bungay, Chris discovers an old grain thresher that still works. It separates the wheat from the chaff, and the by-product of straw goes for thatching. There are belts, pulleys, gears, levers, grease and dust. It's like standing next to a dinosaur with a bad digestive system, Chris muses. But the picture wouldn't be complete without animals, in particular the Norfolk long horn sheep, which is still playing its part in the latest phase of the farming revolution, helping to support a greener way of growing food.