Medieval Monday: The Labors of July — Allison D. Reid

“Summer, you who ripen man’s sustenance with the wholesome heat of the sun’s warmth, should be blessed by all manner of men. May your friendly demeanour, and your attractive, cheerful and happy appearance ever be thanked!” – Thomas Hoccleve July was a time for fruit and crops to ripen, and there was always a certain […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of July — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Labors of May — Allison D. Reid

May Day marks the beginning of summer in the medieval world. The weather is really warming up, and there are lots of new chores to begin. Planting and harrowing continues, and weeding the grain fields becomes an important chore. Cabbages, leeks, onions, and garlic are ready to be planted, as are those plants used in […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of May — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Labors of April — Allison D. Reid

Spring is here! Farm work really gets underway—harrowing and sowing are important chores for this month. Crops planted in April included grains, like barley and oats, and legumes like beans, peas, and vetches. Grain seed was planted by standing with one’s back to the breeze, and flinging a handful of seeds outward from the waist. […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of April — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Labors of March — Allison D. Reid

Warmer March weather meant it was time to finally put most indoor tasks aside and get out into the fields. There weren’t a great variety of tasks associated with March, mainly because preparing the fields for plowing and planting was such an onerous chore that began at dawn and ended at dusk.  Getting the spring […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of March — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Green Valley in February — Allison D. Reid

Today’s post is actually a video that I really think you’re going to enjoy! It’s half an hour long, but well worth the time to watch! A small group of historians and archaeologists restored and brought back to life an abandoned village in Wales, re-creating over an entire year what life was like in the […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Green Valley in February — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: Labors of January — Allison D. Reid

Winter had tightened its grip, and the most important labor of January was staying warm! With only hearth fires for heat, the cold was a very real danger for everyone, but especially the young, the elderly, and the poor. There were still several feasting days to be celebrated, which continued to be a blessing for […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: Labors of January — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Labors of December — Allison D. Reid

In the cold days of December, the fields were finally quiet, with the ground too frozen to work. Animals were taken care of, to ensure they would not only survive the harsh months to come, but that they would be healthy on spring’s arrival. After all, they would be needed to work. In bad weather, […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of December — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: More Labors of November — Allison D. Reid

November was a busy month in the medieval world. Last week’s post focused mainly on the fall slaughter and preservation of meat for the coming months, but there was much more to be done. Garlic and beans were sown in November–typically around the 20th, which was St. Edmund’s day–but the heavy labors of the […] MedievalContinue reading “Medieval Monday: More Labors of November — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: The Labors of November — Allison D. Reid

The Anglo Saxons referred to November as the “blood month,” because it was time to begin slaughtering those animals which would not be kept through the winter. The traditional time for butchering animals was Martinmas (November 11th), though the butchering and processing of meat could continue through January depending on the weather. While some meat […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: The Labors of November — Allison D. Reid”

Medieval Monday: Fire! Fire! — Allison D. Reid

Fire was crucial to survival in the Middle Ages. With electricity and gas-powered devices still far into the future, open flame was the most common source of heat for cooking, industry, and protection against the cold. Fires were a bit more difficult to set in an era before matches, particularly if everything was wet. Fire-steels, […]Continue reading “Medieval Monday: Fire! Fire! — Allison D. Reid”