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Homestead Entertainment: Wartime Farm

If you are looking for some quality homesteading television then you might want to check out Wartime Farm. It’s a historical documentary television series that was aired by BBC in 2012.  Filmed in Southampton England, the farming team turns back the clock to run Manor Farm exactly as it would have been during World War II. They provide you with a glimpse into rural life, demonstrating  how people used extreme frugality and ingenuity to thrive during very difficult times.

You might wonder how a farm series set in the war era relates to modern day living but for those of us living a Homesteader’s life, it does.  The challenges, the solutions and the innovations are all things that come hand in hand with a self sufficient lifestyle. When they successfully retrofit a vehicle to run on a coal generator they had me hooked! On wartime farm you watch them solve problems and they really show you the process so you get enough of a gist that you could try these things yourself.  The honesty of the show is really refreshing as well. Occasionally they will be clearly frustrated and totally fed up or so extremely elated by their success that they appear completely bonkers. They don’t hide the mistakes that they make either.

I’ve got many useful and interesting tid bits floating around in my brain just waiting to be used from watching this show.  I know the finer points of removing the tell-tale dye out of government fuel (should the need arise) and should you want to make clay tiles, a makeshift kiln and some “medicinal” apple hooch (because you have to do something while you wait for the clay to bake right?) then this show will be right up your alley.

I was also really excited when a smaller version of our Lister-type diesel generator (the one we use on our homestead) gets introduced on the show as a great new tool for providing some electricity on the farm to run some lights and milking machines. It is still an amazing machine. If you are looking for a heavy duty generator to last your lifetime and beyond … the style featured on this show is still available as they still manufacture them in India.

The farmers mentality in the wartime era was “whatever it takes” and this series offers a reminder that a lot can be achieved with even the most limited of resources.

We give this program a full five Walkerland stars!

ps. If you love Wartime Farm they have two more documentary series!   Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm. Enjoy!

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1 Comment

  • Absolutely fascinated with that series! My favorite thing to do is curl up on a snowy day with a cup of tea, a half-way finished rag rug and watch. I particularly love the Edwardian Farm series, probably because I love that era so much!

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