Tudor Monastery farm continues. Subsistence farming was giving way to farming for profits. Tudor farmers had an eye on profits. The monasteries made money from their tenants and now their tenants wanted to make profits for themselves. It was during this time that farming was changed. Ruth, Tom, and Peter celebrate Pentecost with a Market day. Tom and Peter are raising geese to market day. Tom comments that he is nervous around the geese. Geese were considered a good source of revenue. Geese were kept for meat, eggs, and fat. Tom and Peter hope to make money with them on Market Day.
In 1500, the common lands were not enclosed. Our time travelers turned their sheep out onto these lands. Sheep produced thicker fleeces because of the grass the sheep were kept on. May was the time for sheep shearing. The time travelers work on making crooks to help drive the sheep from the grasslands back to the farm. The crooks were invaluable to the Tudor shepherd. With the aid of a sheepdog Ruth, Tom, and Peter drive their sheep back down to the farm. It is comedic to watch Tom, Peter, and Ruth drive the sheep down back to their farm.
Tom and Peter wash the sheep. The farming manuals at the time recommend that the sheep be washed before they sheer them. They wash their sheep before shearing. Washing the dirt, dung, and rocks out of a fleece helps the sheering process. If a sheerer came across a rock in the fleece, the blades could get damaged. Cleaning the fleece also increases the farmer’s profits because if a fleece is matted with dung it is not usable.
Peter who is feeling unwell with a cold, turns to nature to cure it. The Tudor garden was seen as a pharmacy. Many plants could be used to cure what ails the farmer.
Ruth explores the differences with monastic herds because the sheep could provide different sources of income. Sheep cheese had started going out of fashion because cows produced more milk. Ruth milks a sheep to help supplement the farm’s income. She will use the milk to make cheese. She works in the dairy and makes sheep’s cheese. Working in the dairy was considered a woman’s work during Tudor times. Tudor Dairies were also cleverly designed to regulate temperature so the dairy was the coolest place on the farm. They were built on the north wall and away from the sun.
Peter works on steam bending wood to make a bench to help sheer sheep. He has never done it before but is willing to give it a try. He explains the process of what he is doing to steam bend wood. He digs a trench, lines it with rocks, fills it with damp hay, and builds a chimney to get the fire going.
Tudor Monastery Farm is an excellent show for the classroom. If you need a filler for a substitute teacher or just to share some living history with your students. You can show certain episodes in an agricultural classroom as well. Grab some clips and use this series in the classroom as part of a lecture. You are only limited to your imagination when it comes to using YouTube in the classroom. I would pull clips out from the discussion on the Tudor Dairy or Tudor cheesemaking for an agricultural classroom. Ruth is an excellent narrator as to why the Tudor Dairy was designed the way it was.
You can access the YouTube Video here. The worksheets for this series are available on my Teacher Pay Teachers page.
I'm a librarian with an active imagination who likes to create. Genealogist and Researcher.
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