Tales from the Green Valley
The BBC recently ran a series called Tales from the Green Valley that recreated a 17th century Welsh farm.
It was a time when daily life was a hard grind, intimately connected with the physical environment where routines were dictated by the weather and the seasons.Our only known Welsh ancestor who was a farmer was Richard Jenkins*, father of Hannah (Jenkins) Lewis. Many of the lessons learned from a 17th century farm would have held true for those farming at the end of the 18th century, and even modern life.
The lessons learned include:
1. Know your neighbors.
2. Share the load.
3. Fewer creature comforts.
4. Eat seasonally.
5. Tasty food comes in small batches.
6. Reuse and recycle.
7. Dress for practicalities.
8. Corsets, not bras. (really!)
9. Biodiversity protects against calamity.
10. Don't rely on any one thing.
11. The greater the variety of insects the better.
Read the whole article.
*As an off-topic aside: It appears that the two oldest sons of David and Hannah (Jenkins) Lewis were named after their grandfathers. The oldest son, Evan, was named after David's father. The second son (and our ancestor), Richard, was named after Hannah's father.
There is a photo gallery from one of the participants, Alex Langlands. He also shares what he learned about thatching.
The producer Peter Sommers also tells about his experiences making the series.
Material from Gathering the Jewels on farming.
GENUKI has several available articles about farming in Glamorgan, including:
• West Glamorgan Farming, 1580-1620
• Glamorgan Agriculture in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries