Last night saw the end of Edwardian Farm on BBC2. I was sad to see the series end and I won't lie - I was a little bit misty-eyed when they went off in the boat at the end. The programme was filmed over a year at Morwellham Quay in Devon and showed the trials and tribulations of life on a farm at the turn of the 20th Century.
I loved every minute of Edwardian Farm. It was beautifully shot and Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn did a wonderful job, just as they did in the equally brilliant Victorian Farm. I have learned so much from both series. Ruth Goodman's historical knowledge is vast and she somehow manages to make the most grim tasks seem appealing, be it tarting up an outdoor loo, making a brown paper duvet, sewing long johns, charring a dead pig or spraying crops with antique machinery. She has a wonderful way of making it all utterly captivating.
I first watched Ruth, Alex and Peter in Tales From The Green Valley a few years back. That series - also marvellous - saw them running a 1600s farm. Then between Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm there was Victorian Pharmacy which was absolutely fascinating.
I will admit that seeing Peter Ginn in his period costume has been a weekly highlight for the past twelve weeks and I am going to miss that but I do have the DVDs of Victorian Farm and Tales From The Green Valley if I find myself in need of a
Peter historical fix. There isn't long to wait for the the DVD of Edwardian Farm which is out in February.
Apart from enjoying learning about all the farming, cooking, clothes, daily routines and old machinery I was also gripped by all the old crafts such as basket weaving, lacemaking, thatching, hedging and blacksmithing. In last night's episode they had an expert called Simon Summers making a beautiful copper and iron weather vane. It was just amazing to watch and the finished item was gobsmackingly beautiful. Such skill.
Inspired by Ruth Goodman I bought myself a copy, albeit a modern one, of Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management. I have been dipping in and out of it and it's wonderful - a real glimpse into the past. I'm quite surprised at how relevant a lot of the book's advice and information still is today. Some of the recipes look good although I have had to research some of the ingredients. Mrs Beeton had a bit of a thing for isinglass and that was something I'd never heard of before. If you've got a Kindle or a Kindle app you might like to know that you can download the book for free from Amazon.
I'll stop waffling about historical things now. I just wanted to write a little post about my love for the wonder that was Edwardian Farm. If you enjoyed it too you'll understand.