"Tales of pioneer hardship and deprivation have been told many times. Yet still we remember in wonder, that people accomplished so much with so little; that men and women with simple tools, their bare hands, and their own inventiveness cleared the land, drained the swamps, made their own clothing and provided their own food. Through all these difficulties God was with them and they wanted their children educated intellectually and spritually." from Norfolk Street United Church history

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wartime Farm - Monday Nights on TVO

Taking up the World War II era running of a farm for a full calendar year, using only historical tools and materials. The experiment will prove to be nothing short of a revolution in British farming - one more akin to Soviet-style collectivization than anything else. A fascinating blend of war history, survival creativity and endurance.

Episode 1 Watch Video

January 7, 2013

The team begin by reclaiming badlands to grow new crops. Peter works with a blacksmith to design a special ,mole plough, to help drain the waterlogged clay fields. Ruth and Alex get to grips with a troublesome wartime tractor - and must plough through the night to get the wheat crop sown in time. On top of farmers' herculean efforts to double food production, their detailed knowledge of the landscape also made them ideal recruits for one of the war's most secret organisations - the 'Auxiliary Units', a British resistance force trained to use guerrilla tactics against German invasion.

Episode 2

January 14, 2013

This week the team tackle the conditions faced by British farmers in 1940, when the full impact of rationing take hold and which also saw Britain face the onslaught of Nazi bombing in the Blitz. Ruth finds out how about the impact rationing had in the kitchen as food became strictly limited - and also explores the temptations of the Black Market. Alex and Peter are confronted with vastly reduced supplies of feed for the animals, so attempt a method encouraged by the government: making ,silage,. This involves not only finding alternatives sources of feed to store for winter, but also creating a container to store them in. And for this they find out how the Women's Land Army could be of help. Along they way, they also discover how racial prejudice reared its ugly head during Land Girl recruitment - only to be overcome by the actions of a local farmer.

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