This is the series finale of Tudor Monastery Farm. Ruth, Tom, and Peter continue to live and work on the Tudor Monastery Farm. It is September and the beginning of Autumn. The time travelers are getting ready to close their year out. The pea crop is harvested and the animals are coming back to the farm. The barley harvest is ready to be harvested.
The Monastery was the largest landowner in England. The fields were open and not enclosed by hedges. Farmers were given land to farm. Peter commented that it was all hands to the pump when it came to harvesting their crops. Harvest would have been back-breaking work for the harvest. Their tools are quickly getting dull from the work. Tom was surprised to discover that. Ruth and the women bind the barley into Sheafs. Every stalk was important and the poor people were allowed to glean leftovers. Ruth comments on the amount of work that the team had done in four hours and what needed to be done.
Ruth then prepares the meat for the winter and she makes salt to help preserve their meat. She learns how to make salts. Salt was part of the cash economy, you had to buy salt. Salt was imported from France or Spain, however, there were pockets of Britain that had brine springs. Salt forms by boiling water. This salt comes to the top of the water and forms a skin. Ruth then carefully extracts the salt. The first gatherings are the cleanest, Ruth tests this theory by throwing eggs into the brine. The impurities will bind to a protein. There were different grades of salt, the grey salt was used for household cleaners and the white was used for cheese.
In the meantime, Tom and Peter bring their sheep down back to the farm. The 1530s would change sheep rearing. After the dissolution of the monasteries, their land was sold off and landowners started to enclose the land. The large monastery flocks were then broken up. It was the last time that there would be big flocks in England.
The team then brings in the barley for storage. Tom and Peter pick goss to prevent rodents from getting into the barley. Goss is prickly which will discourage visitors and keep the air circulating underneath the barley. Peter talks about how prickly Goss was. He also observes that by taking the harvest in they are taking away the homes of the rodents. The last of the barley is brought into the farm. The harvest queen is crowned.
Fall is when the animals are slaughtered and Ruth uses her salt to preserve the meat. The Tudor butcher formed two-pound chunks of meat. After butchering, Ruth salts up the meat and then puts it into a brine. After sitting in a brine for two days the meat would then be taken out and put in a barrel packed with salt.
Ruth prepares the Michelmas feast. She cooks a goose for the feast. She talks about when it was appropriate to eat geese.
To continue to learn more about the Tudor Monastery farm, continue to watch this fantastic series.
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.
You can access the YouTube Video here. The worksheets for this series are available on my Teacher Pay Teachers page.
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