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Tales From The Green Valley [DVD]
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All 12 parts of the television documentary series, taking five experts, including archaeologists and historians, and setting them the challenge of running a farm as it would have been run 400 years ago. Working without modern tools and machinery, the team have to turn their expert knowledge into practical results.
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The refreshing approach was that instead of looking for conflict in terms of 'good tv', the series took a group of experts and gave them the house (in what looks like an unspoilt bit of Wales), land and materials to demonstrate what it would have been like to run a farm 400 years ago. The result is informative and interesting, and some of the hazards are entertainingly presented, while not quite going into the warts and all of fleas and dung disposal! They do have to build an outside latrine though, and their pride in its completion is understandable but faintly amusing:-)
The time shared between farming and domestic tasks promotes the feeling that you've experienced a day in their lives - back breaking farm work in daylight and finishing with a contemporary meal and/or celebration in the evening. The information about how things were done in the context of each month - from putting tethers on pigs and dry stone walling to making cheese and tallow dips and the spring clean are fascinating.
A unique and good humoured series and gorgeous to look at. It bears repeated viewing.
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