DVD reviews

Ruth, Peter and Alex in the Edwardian Farm - Devon, Tamar Valley, England
Over the last 6 months I have been watching three great DVD series and now that I have reach the end of them it is rather sad.  These have been excellent and I would highly recommend all of them as they are both fascinating and so educational. My mother has watched one series so far and would heartily agree. So what are they (I have included the link to their Amazon.UK pages):
  • Edwardian Farm (link)
  • Victorian Farm (link)
  • Tales from the Green Valley (link)
Each episode focus's on a month in the life of the farm, following the seasonal tasks that the team endeavour to carry out - from harvesting and building, to the birthing of calves, from salting and smoking meat to sheep shearing and garment making etc... It also includes all those household activities that women particpated in; such as preparing the evening meal, storage of food for winter, making cheese and butter, caring for the small animals plus the more enjoyable arts and crafts. 

Each series is set in a different local - the Edwardian Farm is located in the magnificent Tamar Valley in Devon (Morwelham Quay), the Victorian Farm is in Shropshire not far from the Welsh borders and the Tales of the Green Valley is in northern Wales in a Welsh Valley that is so beautiful and breathtaking.  "Tales" is set 400 years ago at the time of James I, this is the most fascinating as it examines the way of life for a farming community in the early 1700's and what life was like for the ordinary person, both as a male and a female.

Each series examines how changes in technology affected farming life, this is particular the situation in the Victorian and Edwardian farms where the introduction of machinery was slowly replacing horse power and allowing farmers to produce more food.  It also looks at how farmers substituted their income when times were tough e.g. the men off fishing, the women working as a maid in one of the big houses or running small business from home such as selling smoked fish or selling jam.  At the very end of the Edwardian farm there is a small snippet about the changes in politics and the growing of the suffragettes plus the lead up to the Great War which changed everything and ended the Edwardian period. 

Mining during the Edwardian period
Th Edwardian Farm looks beyond traditional farming and includes fishing, market gardening, fruit picking and mining (in Cornwell - just across the Tamar River).  The mining component of this was of particular interest as large numbers of Cornish people left Cornwell in the 1800's and travelled to Australia (to my home state of South Australia) to mine tin, it was their mining skills that were introduced and revolutionised mining in Australia. 
Ruth sewing in The Victorian Farm
All three are well presented, the narration is excellent (as the English do so well) and I really enjoyed watched Ruth, Peter and Alex in all three series, they are such likable people. Personally I think it is suitable for homeschooling (Clara - do you agree?), I certainly would have used it for my children if they were younger!!  Pop onto YouTube and you will find snippets of the programme to see for yourself. 
Using the oxen to plough the fields in "Tales of the Green Valley"
Just a little trivia - The Edwardian Farm is set in the Tamar Valley, which is very near to Dartmoor - the farmers of the Tamar use to take their sheep on to Dartmoor for the summer.  Does Dartmoor ring any bells!!???  Perhaps if you were a reader of Sherlock Holmes this might make more sense . . . The Hound of the Baskervilles was set on the moors of Dartmoor!!

All three are going to receive 5 stars from me!!!

Now I will need to find something else to watch that is just as good.


  1. Jo, we spent an interesting day at Morwelham Quay some years ago. It was raining and miserable when we arrived, everyone was cold and wet. We had lunch -- I can still remember it, home made tomato soup with chucks of tomato -- in their little era-authentic pub, with a fire roaring, and lots of people trying to get warm. At that point everyone felt better, and the sun began to peak out; Amy, Carmen, and I dressed in period costumes (the boys wouldn't) and we had our photo taken -- Carmen loved it.

    1. You must get your hands on the Edwardian Farm as you will know where they are. I though if you as I watched it as it is something you would enjoy. Pity I can't lend you my copy. It looks like the most amazing place to visit.

  2. I'm not Clara but I think it would be a good tool in homeschooling for sure Jo :)

  3. Oh yes, I do agree, wholeheartedly! These are excellent for homeschooling - they bring history alive!! :) We have thoroughly enjoyed what we have seen so far! :)

    1. I wish I had them when the children were younger as they would have been SO good! I think you will love the Edwardian Farm :)

  4. I wonder if they are available in US format? Sounds very interesting to me! We need something different to watch.

    1. Mary - I bought mine from Amazon.uk and therefore they are Region 2. I have a DVD player that does all regions so it isn't an issue. I noticed that Amazon.USA only sells the none US format, meaning what I have. Do you play them on a DVD player or via computer?


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