Alex and Peter look over their farm for bonus land. The War Ag pressed farmers to use as much of their farms as possible. Even Leister Square was plowed up for use in growing vegetables. However, the small patch of land Peter and Alex plan on using is too small for conventual farm machinery. So they are renting a “trusty tractor.”
Wood was also in short supply. At the outbreak of war, Britain was importing nearly all their wood. Ruth joins up with the timber core and becomes a lumber jill. For the war, wood was used in airplanes and down mines. Eve, Ruth’s daughter joins up with Ruth and cuts down a tree. Ruth talks about who joined up with the Timber Core. It gave women the chance to support the war effort. Eve and Ruth chop down a tree and Ruth are thrilled to be able to yell “timber.” The women were trained in everything for two weeks and then the girls could pick something they were good at. The girls then spend the next two weeks training in what they were good at. Ruth talks with a former member of the timber core.
Farming became more mechanized in Britain. Peter and Alex plan on growing beans in their small land plot. They check out a Trusty Tractor for a week. Alex is having a tough time handling the tractor at first but then gets it figured out. They plow out that small field and then smoothed out before planting. They borrow a new seed drill to plant the beans. However, the weather is thwarting them. The beans would be used as another protein source. The mud is proving to be a challenge to Peter who is planting the field. The boys press on.
Peter and Alex train the calves to drink from a bucket. They had been bottle feeding the calves. Now is the time to teach them how to drink from a bucket. Alex is thrilled with the calves' independence. During the war, milk sales measured into a billion dollars.
Ruth checks to see if their pig is big enough for slaughter. Shorty the pig is still small. They decided to wait before slaughter. When the pig is slaughtered, half will go to the government the other half will go to the pig club members.
Gas was severely rationed to make sure the armed forces got their share. Farmers were given small amounts of gas for their tractors. They needed to come up with alternative methods of powering additional vehicles. Coal would be the alternative fuel to run vehicles. In the countryside, they were not linked up to the main so the farmer would have come up with something to collect the coal gas. Colin and Peter then work to convert a wartime ambulance to run on coal gas. Will they get the ambulance to work on coal gas?
Alex looks for a source for the coal. He goes into a coal mine to get some additional coal. Coal would eventually run short when the coal miners went off to war. The Bevin Boys went into the mines to help make up for the shortage. Thousands refused to work in the mines and went to jail instead of going into the mines. Many others went into the mines. Continue to watch this episode to find out more about our farmers’ efforts.
Colin and Peter continue to work on converting an ambulance from working on gas to work on coal. They revive old techniques to do this conversion. This section would be an excellent section to show in a STEM and STEAM classroom.
This would be a good episode to show both in a history classroom and a STEM and STEAM classroom.
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