Wednesday, September 14, 2005

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.

Learn more:
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

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At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm Peter Sommer the Producer/Director of the series, Tales from the Green Valley. A friend pointed out this post on your marvellous blog, so I thought I'd say hello.

There's a DVD of the series that has recently been released and which is available from my website. Thought you might also be interested to read a couple of articles I've written about the series which you can find via the webpage Tales from the Green Valley

By the way I regularly give talks in the UK about the making of the series. If you know a group that might like me to speak why not drop me a line –

If you have any questions do get in touch.

Best wishes,

Peter Sommer
Peter Sommer Travels


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