Friday, February 1, 2013

"Tales From The Green Valley" Part 1

Wonderful PBS Show

A wonderful lady, in fact An Historical Lady, told me about this great show and asked that I watch it. “Tales from the Green Valley” is a PBS show that is a type of historical reality show, reenacting the 17th century farmer’s experience. This was a lot of fun to watch! I learned a lot, but there were some inaccuracies. I watched it entirely on Youtube. You can too!  Here are my notes:

Episodes 1-2

  • The men got on top of the plow to try and make furrows like “modern”.  This would be an obvious choice, to try and do something like what we see now. However, the plows during the 17th century did not cut deep into the soil. That was one reason that production was lower then.
  • The bottom of the bread was placed on the cinders, so that it cooked sitting. The bottom came out black and dirty. The bread was always cut from the bottom up. So, the wealthier, or those higher up the social ladder, would receive to top cutting, while the bottom was for those more “common”. This was how we got the term “upper crust.”
  • Corsets were not always boned with bone, but they were boned with wood and reeds. This does make more sense, because wood was easier to come by. The center wooden piece was carved decoratively because it was closest to your heart.
  • Only the gentry used forks. It was still relatively new, having been only recently imported from Italy.

Episode 2

  • Posies were good English salad greens! This went out of fashion in the Victorian period.
  • Expected roasted meat only twice a week – Thursday and Sunday.

Episode 3

  • One of the main problems with cows were pneumonia because of the poor ventilation in the cow shed.
  • Salt scrub was used to scrub tables, etc.
  • In making the straw roofs, they would comb the straw to get “rubbish” out and to help water flow.

Episode 4

  • Peas were good for the soil even if they did not understand the chemistry. Soil modification due to fertilizers did not occur until the next century. So, this point is not accurate.
  • Faggots are a bundle of sticks.
  • So much money was being sent out of the country to buy currants that they were banned so that the money would go to the troops.
  • They fed their cows turnips. This also was inaccurate. Turnips were not a fodder crop until the next century.

Episode 6

  • They created a “living fence”, this was absolutely amazing to see. I recommend this episode just for this!
  • They smoked a ham in the chimney. OK!

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