Tales From The Green Valley

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History Documentary hosted by Owen Teale, published by BBC in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Tales-From-The-Green-Valley-Cover.jpg

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Tales From The Green Valley A hidden Welsh border valley provides the ideal setting for a fascinating documentative reality-experience, as a group of archaeological and history experts spend a year immersed in country life as it was 400 years ago, when King James I ruled the land. At the heart of the valley lies a remarkable farmhouse, a building that is being run just as it was in the year 1620. Without electricity, refrigeration, mains water, tractors or chemical pesticides, our group will live off the land, eating the period food they grow and wearing the period clothing they can create. We watch and share the drama and frustration as they cope with a plethora of natural challenges – with 400 year-old manuals as their source of knowledge. Each programme focuses on the a month in the life of the farm, following the seasonal tasks our team endeavour to carry out – from harvesting and building, to the birthing of calves and pigs, from salting and smoking meat to sheep shearing and garment making. The series is genuinely revealing about life in times gone by…

[edit] September

Twelve-part series in which five experts, archaeologists and historians take on the challenge of running a farm for a year as it would have been in the reign of King James I. Working without modern conveniences they try and turn theory into practice, rediscovering how things were done in the year 1620, with each episode following the tasks of a calendar month.
To begin, the team use oxen to plough sow seeds by hand and prepare a Jacobean feast

[edit] October

Month two, and with the weather on the turn, the team need to build a cowshed to shelter their livestock over winter, using only tools and materials available from the time. It's time to drive the pigs into the woods to fatten them up, and the pressure's on to harvest the pears.

[edit] November

It is November, time to kill and process one of the specially-bred period pigs, a wild boar Tamworth cross. With winter coming the team accelerate their work on the cowshed by building a wattle and daub wall, and in the orchards it is the last chance to bring in the medlar crop.

[edit] December

December, their fourth month on the farm, means turning the clock back 400 years to celebrate Christmas in 17th-century style. They have to cut their own giant yule log, the centrepiece of period festivities, deck the place out with traditional decorations and celebrate with contemporary tipples. Getting ready for the Christmas day feast, it is all hands on deck cooking up a range of recipes from the age of Shakespeare, like mince pies with real meat in them. Through all this they have got to find time to tend the livestock, make some winter clothes, and build a period wood store - all using tools and materials that would have been available in the year 1620.

[edit] January

January marks their fifth month, and the very depths of winter. The team resorts to some period medicines to beat the aches and pains, boiling up and administering their own herbal oils and ointments. Following the advice of contemporary farming manuals, they head out into the coppice to manage their wood supplies, get in a professional hedge layer to help fix the boundaries and have a go at making their own 17th century-style ink. At the end of a hard day they tuck into a hearty dinner as it might have been 400 years ago, gammon pie and pease pudding.

[edit] February

February is the team's sixth month on the farm. A heavy fall of snow turns it into a winter wonderland, but a storm has damaged their privy so they have got to rebuild one from scratch, and delve into waste management 17th century-style. Despite the cold they still have to look after the animal, which means checking up on the pregnant cows and bringing in their period variety of sheep for a thorough check-up. They get busy preparing for spring sowing, and a music specialist brings along an assortment of contemporary instruments to warm them by the fire. With Lent upon them, they have to try their hand at some 400-year-old recipes for fish and apple pudding

[edit] March

They are halfway through the project, with March being their seventh month on the farm. They get busy turning wheat into bread flour, threshing it energetically with some period flails and then winnowing it - throwing it up in the air to separate the grain from the chaff - using a replica basket. Then it's off to a water mill to take the labour out of the 'daily grind'. They have a go at making some March beer, play some period games, and yoke up some piglets to root up a field for spring sowing. It's also time to overhaul the vegetable garden, and try out some contemporary dishes for Lent - salt cod and egg and pear pies.

[edit] April

April marks their eighth month, so they give the farmhouse a thorough spring clean, sweeping out the chimney with a holly bush and dusting out indoors with a period brush, a goose wing. The textiles need a good airing and bashing, and the team must quite literally change the beds. With the seasons accelerating, they crack on preparing a piece of waste ground for spring sowing: digging up the roots, burning them in pyres, and then turning the fertile ash back in with a good helping of muck. It's also time to try their hand at 17th century dishes of veal and a peculiarly green omelette, at dry stonewalling, and in caring for a newborn calf

[edit] May

May is their ninth month and the team is behind with the spring sowing, so they get busy trying to cut straight furrows with a breastplough, before harrowing their peas. They try their hand at charcoal burning the old-fashioned way, at making straw rope with a wimble and at cooking up old-style bacon and eggs and a cheesecake.

[edit] June

It is June, and the team need to give the sheep a good wash in a local stream, warmed by a period potion called sheepwashers' posset. Only then can they start shearing them by hand, a backbreaking task. In the dairy, the girls have a go at making cheese the old fashioned way, and the boys have to catch up with weeding the wheat field

[edit] July

It's July and the team's first task is to get out into the meadow and start making hay while the sun shines. They try making their own washing liquid from wood ash to get on with the laundry and they've got to get busy harvesting some of the 17th-century crops from the garden, such as red gooseberries, and roses to lighten the mood.

[edit] August

August marks the team's final month and the biggest task is the wheat harvest. Everyone joins in, cutting it down with replicas of period sickles. It's then bundled and dried before they can bring it in by horse. It's also the season to make rush lights using sheep fat, and they've got to try their hand at geese wrangling

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Video Codec: x264 CABAC
  • Video Bitrate: 1541 Kbps
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1
  • Video Resolution: 832x464 (16.9)
  • Audio Codec: AC3
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 Kbps CBR 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Run-Time: 30mins
  • Framerate: 25FPS
  • Number of Parts: 12
  • Part Size: 350 MB
  • Source: DVD
  • Encoded by: Harry65

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