Medieval Farming

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Ars Magica: Nova Semitae Saga
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GM
Mark
Game Start
Anno Domini MCCXX, hiems
A.D. 1220, winter
5 Neanne 1, Hiems
Game Year
Anno Domini MCCXXXIII, hiems
A.D. 1223, winter
4 Aulus 2, Hiems
Magi of Nova Semitae
Geoffroy de Dreux of Jerbiton
Joshua Levi of Verditius
Magni of Flambeau
Obscurus Ignis of Flambeau
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Aulus · Neanne · Fr. Thomas
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Aline · Ysabelo
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Lady Angharad ferch Madog, Princess of Powys Fadog
Ritter Sigmund, German ex-Crusader
Sir Daniele d'Audrieu, Norman merchant
Sir William Cornwell, English ex-Crusader
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Mundane
Mundane Geography · Mundane Politics
Village of Melverley · Melverley Castle
Village Laws · Village Rumors
Medieval Farming
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This information blatantly copied from this British History Learning Site. Supplemental information from this History on the Net site. Minor text edits are mine.

Medieval Farming

The farming year in Medieval England was clearly shaped around the weather. At certain times of the year, certain things had to be done by peasant farmers or crops would not have grown. Farming, in this sense, was controlled by the weather.

Month Work to Do Desired Weather
January mending and making tools, repairing fences, weaving showers
February carting manure and marl showers
March ploughing and spreading manure, weeding dry, no severe frosts
April spring sowing of seeds, harrowing, pruning, scaring birds showers and sunshine
May digging ditches, first ploughing of fallow fields, scaring birds showers and sunshine
June hay making, second ploughing of fallow field, sheep-shearing dry weather
July hay making, sheep-shearing, weeding of crops dry early, showers later
August Harvesting, tying, winnowing warm, dry weather
September threshing, ploughing and pruning fruit trees, milling showers
October Last ploughing of the year, milling dry, no severe frosts
November collecting acorns for pigs, butchering, salt/smoking, weaving showers and sunshine
December Mending and making tools, killing animals, collecting, digging, weaving showers and sunshine

Glossary

Marl = a limy clay used as manure in Medieval England

Frosts were a major worry for Medieval peasants as just one severe frost in the growing season could kill off their crop. Seeds were especially vulnerable to frosts. The impact of a bad frost could leave a family or village without a crop for the year.

Harrowing = a spiked farming tool used to cover up seeds after they have been planted. Like a giant garden rake.

Fallow fields = these were farming fields left alone by the farmers for a year so that the field could regain its strength. If a field was used year in year out, it would not maintain its fertility. Though this system seems a waste as land was lost to the farmers, it was the only way then not to exhaust the land.

Acorns = these come from oak trees which were a very common tree in Medieval England. Pigs were allowed to wander in forests and feed themselves up on acorns. Acorns were free and a lord would not mind as he would have no use for the acorns - but he certainly would for fattened pigs.

Heavy rain - this was feared in the summer as the crop had nearly grown and a heavy rain storm could flatten the crop and make harvesting it all but impossible.

Tying = bundling sheaves of wheat to dry