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Tales from the Green Valley

Those familiar with the ‘Farm’ series of programmes, may not have heard about Tales from the Green Valley. The precursor to Victorian Farm is set in the Welsh borders living life in 1620. The presenters are five hand-picked experts – Stuart Peachey, Chloe Spencer, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn (nicknamed Fonz) and Ruth Goodman. First broadcast in 2005, the format is very much like the Farm series, except that there are twelve half hour long episodes and each follow the twelve months. For health and safety reasons, the experts do not live on the farm, but work there every day. As such it gives a much more intense and detailed view of farm life in the Stuart period. Followers of the Farm series will be familiar with presenters Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman, who went on to present Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm and Wartime Farm.

Tales from the Green Valley
Peter Ginn, Alex Langlands and Stuart Peachey in Tales from the Green Valley

The episodes cover:

  • Episode 1 – September: Ploughing, baking bread, clothes
  • Episode 2 – October: Roofing and thatching, pear harvest, driving the pigs to forage
  • Episode 3 – November: Wattle and daub, pig slaughter and butchery, medlar harvest
  • Episode 4 – December: Building a wood store, preparing for a twelve day Christmas feast
  • Episode 5 – January: Medicines, wood gathering, hedge laying, ink-making
  • Episode 6 – February: Rebuilding a lavatory, checking the sheep for lambing, musical instruments
  • Episode 7 – March: Wheat threshing, brewing ale, pig yokes
  • Episode 8 – April: Spring cleaning, rebuilding a dry stone wall
  • Episode 9 – May: Making charcoal and butter
  • Episode 10 – June: Washing and shearing sheep, cheese making
  • Episode 11 – July: Garden harvest, making hay, clothes washing
  • Episode 12 – August: Goose pie and carrot purée, wheat and straw harvest, reed lights

The series was followed by A Tudor Feast at Christmas. The one episode programme can be watched on YouTube

The DVD for Tales from the Green Valley is available here

A behind-the-scenes article can be found here

The website for the farm can be found here