Monday, September 30, 2013

Very nice gem found: "Wartime Farm"



Recently, I came across a book called "Wartime Farm" and its based on a BBC TV series of same name where 3 people reenact what life in a WWII British farm would have been like. I like it because it has my favorite kind of information, real-world lessons of actual historic events. 
It is interesting becuase it does end up explaining a lot of how people both in the country and in the city got by during war time with rationing, constant bombing threat and how they learned to get by in general with very little.
There's plenty of nice tips and ideas to pick both in the book and TV series.
This is the video review that I did of the book:
The book is available on Amazon: Wartime Farm
 


This is the first full Episode of Wartime Farm on youtube.
MUCH better than watching the usual reality TV junk. I've watched several episodes of Wartime Farm, they are well made, fun and full of good info.
Enjoy!

FerFAL

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hallo Ferfal!

If you liked the War farm, maybe you should also check out the Edwardian Farm and Victorian Farm.
It was made by the same team and in the same way, but set on farms in older time periods (Victorian and Edwardian).

Anonymous said...

Ferfal -

Thank you! I love your blog and like you I really enjoy BBC 'Reality TV'. Can't wait to see my first episode

Jose Garcia said...

I watched the episodes last year. It was interesting to see how the government manipulated the lives of Brits in the country and attempted to control production in a rather communist way.

Jose Garcia said...

I watched the episodes last year. It was interesting to see how the government manipulated the lives of Brits in the country and attempted to control production of grains, produce, and beef in a rather communist fashion.

Don Williams said...

Re Jose Garcia at 4:11pm:

1) Military discipline is not "communism". Britain is an island and the Germans were trying to starve it.
2) Churchill could not depend on the Invisible Hand of the Free Market to defeat Adolf Hitler.

3) Or somehow hope that industry would create the right weapons out of thin air. The atomic bomb was not created by Steve Jobs working in a garage --or by Ayn Rand's bulls*$t.

Don Williams said...

PS If you are ever drafted in wartime, don't ask the Marine drill sergeant:
"Who is John Galt?"

gaga said...

"attempted to control production in a rather communist way. "

Something to do with having all food aid stopped abruptly at the end of the war and failed crops due to the worst winters in ahundred years.

Jose Garcia said...

I'm not sure how many of you have watched the films, but it's clear that farmer, had they been left to produce what they were better at, would have done better than when forced to slaughter live stock to produce grains. I believe Stalin did something similar with Ukraine farmers and effectively managed to create a bigger food shortage.

gaga said...

"I'm not sure how many of you have watched the films, but it's clear that farmer, had they been left to produce what they were better at, would have done better than when forced to slaughter live stock to produce grains"

You obviously missed the point that grain production if far more effective than meat production. It takes 7kg of grain to produce 1kg of beef, grain that had to be imported from America and half of the cargo was sent to the bottom of the sea.

So it would be 14x more effective to grow grains than meat.

Anonymous said...

Re:Jose Garcia

No you are wrong Stalin confiscated (by military force) every thing the farmers had, including grain needed for next years planting. The farmers had nothing to plant in spring so there was no harvest in the autumn - thus the terrible famine. He did this during peacetime - without any enemy specifically trying to destroy food production in USSR in general or Ukraine (at that time a part of USSR) in particular.
The British farmers were forced to cull their cattle but it was still their cattle, they were paid for it, they made some money. Cattle had to go so the grain was made into bread not fed to the cattle.
British government ordered this in an state of WAR, when their enemy made no secrets of his plans to starve the nation, and was at the time extremely good at it. Their action averted the starving and the food shortage.

Jose Garcia said...

The point that has been getting missed is that a bureaucracy attempted to control private assets of production by force. And in the process did some very bone headed decisions such as the slaughter good productive animals to plant grains which in itself is a risky proposition since agriculture not only requires experience and time , something cattle farmers lacked, but also good weather and countless inputs in the form of fertilizers and irrigation. Yes, it was war time and the policies were well intentioned, but mistakes carry a tab and it was clear that people cherished more a pound of bacon than 2 pounds of rice.

With regards to live stock eating grains, that is an anomaly of modern day ranching. Cows, sheep, goats and pigs eat brush and grasses, not grains. They are more efficient at turning an acre of vegetation into human food than humans are by planting grains. The caloric output from an acre of wheat is greater than the caloric output of the grazed animals in the same area by about a factor of 6. But humans don’t survive on calories alone. We also need nutrition. Grains provide very little nutrition relative to animal protein. Someone who has never owned livestock, as I presume none of the bureaucrats had, would not know that and hence the mistake of attempting to control that which they did not understand.

Anonymous said...

@Garcia

I appreciate your point about central control and by implication planned economies, but you are mistaken in this specific case. There is ample evidence that there was no famine in the UK during WW2 and there is also ample evidence of improved health and longevity in the decades after. This is not to say such a very good outcome was foreseen or expected by the government of the day, but it does conclusively invalidate this an example to support your larger point (which I believe is generally correct).

In any case it's not like they tipped the culled cattle into a pit and buried them in lye. They WERE eaten in the usual way. All that happened was breeding was reduced.

Anonymous said...

"I believe Stalin did something similar with Ukraine farmers and effectively managed to create a bigger food shortage."

That is not what I understand happened. The Ukraine farmers did not want to give up their farms to collective farming. Stalin supposedly bragged to Roosevelt that he had not choice to (systematically) starve the (6-10million) farmers and their families to death. It was called the Holodamor.

"but it's clear that farmer, had they been left to produce what they were better at, would have done better than when forced to slaughter live stock to produce grains." I have yet to watch the episodes, but that is the way with government vs people.