I enjoyed the cookery programme much more than the Monastery Farm one! Nigel and Adam work really well together as presenters, don't they?
I suppose I sit there waiting to "nit-pick" with the "farm" thing - and as usual saw and heard things which made me wince. Maybe it's not fair to attribute these solely to the programme's presenters - the producer and director must surely take the blame, so to speak, just as they would with any praise. One of the opening shots showed a chap with a pikel over his shoulder - a relatively modern one, and not something which would have been around in the 1500s. I was interested to see that they did in fact use a wooden one when forking the straw into the steaming pit. The presenters should, however, know that "to blunten" and "sheared" aren't the right words to use (!) and I don't think he really meant what he said when he sort-of explained that the vertical sticks in the pit "transported" heat either.........
However, back to the "nits"........... I wish they would learn how to handle any livestock they deal with. The way they dealt with the sheep was really awful, and it did make me smile when they said that the poor muddy one which finally escaped from that filthy pond would have to dry out for a few weeks before shearing. ....... did they really think the sheep would stay clean? When it came to carding the wool, they were using modern metal-tined carders - whereas in the 1500s they'd most probably have used something made from dried teasel heads - that's where the word "teasing" comes from (in this context). I think they could - and should - have explained that there are varying degrees of fibre quality in any whole fleece, so the sorting of the wool would take this into account. For example, the parts of the fleece from the underside/throat/chest are finer, softer and shorter fibres - whereas the parts from the hindquarters are much coarser, and these would be separated for use in different ways. Imagine, for instance, a rug - and a vest for a baby - both can be made from wool. The other thing they didn't mention is that the fleece/fibre quality is affected by something called "the rise" which is a weakening of the fibres & which happens in the early part of summer when not only is the grass quality better, but the weather's warmer too. This combination of improved nutritiion and warmth causes a sudden growth spurt in the fleece which weakens the fibres and is part of the reason why sheep sometimes appear to moult a bit. The ideal time to shear, therefore is at the time when this weakness is closest to the body. Makes shearing easier & quicker and means the fibres don't have an inherent weakness.
The goose boots were a complete joke!