The countryside was the frontline of freedom. It was a battle fought by the farmers of Britain. The farmers stepped up to save the country. If they failed, the nation could be starved into surrender. This time, Ruth, Peter, and Alex are facing the conditions of 1941. In 1941 Europe was taken over by the Nazis.
Ruth is looking for wood. Everyone was desperate to heat their homes. So they went into the woods to gather firewood. Once the wood was burned, then they could put the ashes in their garden. Before the war, the government passed emergency powers to take control of the farms. The War Ag dictated what the farmers could grow and what they could use the fields for. In the battle for food, it was important to know how much food could be produced.
Brian, an expert in the War Ag visits Ruth, Peter, and Alex. He talks about the history of War Ag and the powers he had. Farms were graded A, B, or C, and if a farmer got a “C” grade, then watch out. The government could step in and take some or all their farms. Peter askes the expert what should they grow in addition to the wheat. He suggests flax. Flax was used in parachute webbing. Milk was the number one thing that the farmers needed to produce. Brian will be back to give the farmers a grade.
To plant the flax, Alex finds an alternative to the Fordson. The tractor is called a Field Marshall. There was a shortcut in how to start it. They put in a gun powder cartridge and hit the firing pin with a hammer. Alex fails the first try and they have to load up another cartridge. After the second try, the tractor starts up right away
Unfortunately, milk production may be a challenge. A cow, Sarah, is giving them trouble. A teat was cut through and there was an infection. She will have to be culled from the herd, so they will keep the cow comfortable until she gives birth. Losing a cow could be a disaster for the wartime farmer. A cow’s milk production will be tied to the quality of the food they eat. So the boys open up the silo to check on their silage. Will the boy’s efforts in a silage-making payoff?
Farmers wanting to impress the War Ag kept up with the latest news. The farmers screen a film about how the farmers were contributing to the fight. Mobile cinemas were sent up and down Britain to spread the word. The film the series show is called “Spring Offensive.” Peter and Ruth talk about the movie and how it was important for the farmer to cooperate with the War Ag. Over 2000 films were produced by the Ministry of Information. Alex meets up with a farmer who remembered what happened to another man when he went up against the War Ag. The farmer had refused to plow up a field that was not good for crop growing. There was a 13hour standoff and the farmer was shot. The farmer commented that “it should not have happened.”
Peter and Alex then try out the mechanical milkers. Peter meets up with another crank handle and starts up the engine. Will Ruth’s, Peter’s, and Alex’s efforts be enough to get them the A rating for their farm? Tune into this episode to find out!
This one you could give to an independent study student when they are studying World War II. This episode would be a good resource to use for a lecture for World War II.
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