Wartime Farm is a British historical documentary TV series in eight parts in which the running of a farm during the Second World War is re-enacted, first broadcast on BBC Two on 6 September 2012.
Broadcast on 13 September 2012 at 8pm, the second episode focuses around food rationing and preparations for the winter of 1940. Under growing pressure from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food, the team has to make tough decisions over which livestock (if any) the farm should continue to rear. While the pigs, sheep and beef herd are removed, and the oldest chickens slaughtered and turned into feather dusters, Ruth manages to keep two pigs on as part of a “Pig Club” with their neighbours.
Alex and Peter spend much of the episode generating silage to feed their remaining animals over winter. They first obtain sugar beet tops and nettles as raw materials, and then construct a small silo out of corrugated steel, with the help of two volunteers from the Women’s Land Army (Nicola Verdon and Caroline Bressey). Ruth, meanwhile, explores the beginnings of rationing, and uses the family’s meagre meat ration, and a bounty of vegetables and foraged mushrooms, to make stew in an improvised haybox. Rationing leads her to investigate the black market, as she and a shady visitor filter red diesel using a loaf of bread, and get familiar with a butcher who sells spare chops under the counter.
A radio broadcast about the sinking of HMS Jervis Bay puts Ruth’s black market flutter into perspective, and she instead decides to spend her time working with the local Women’s Institute to pick and preserve fruit and vegetables, using a novel hand-operated canning machine from the United States. The episode ends with Ruth and the WI members giving a rendition of the official Women’s Land Army anthem, Back to the Land.
Wartime Farm Series
You can find a full index of Wartime Farm here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 13 September 2012.
- Running Time: 60 minutes.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.