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 11 October 2012 at 8pm. By 1943, food imports had slumped to their lowest levels during the war, and farmland was becoming tired after years of consecutive use. To combat this, Ruth creates fertiliser with dung and spare straw from the farm’s cereal production, while Alex employs a specialist rat catcher to stop rodents eating into the upcoming harvest.
Later in the episode, Alex and Peter build a straw-bale outhouse for visitors and evacuees, complete with a thatched nettle roof; harvest grass from the local churchyard to make hay for their dairy herd; and start their own bee-keeping concern.
Ruth, desperate for helping hands, takes up a new initiative from the Ministry of Labour to employ children on the farm. They camp in the woods nearby, and pick herbs and medicinal plants like goose grass and foxglove which can be sold on to Britain’s pharmaceutical industry. She prepares sandwiches for them using steamed tinned salmon from Canada, and organises entertainment from a local folk musician, including the wartime favourite “Run Rabbit Run”.
The adults, too, get a chance to let their hair down, at a “Wings for Victory” fund-raising dance. Ruth makes her own dress out of cotton flour sacks (purposefully designed, she says, to be re-used by industrious housewives), and curls her hair using sugar water. Alex and Ruth learn about Jive and Swing dancing from the Black American soldiers at the party, while Peter spends the night outside bringing in the hay.
Wartime Farm Series
You can find a full index of Wartime Farm here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 11 October 2012.
- Running Time: 60 minutes.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.