you have to get the seeds in the ground. In most parts of Europe,
northern Africa, and Western Asia, people plant their seeds in the
fall, around October.
Four grains were widely cultivated during the Middle Ages: wheat,
barley, rye, and oats. Of these, wheat was most valued because it
had the gluten content necessary to make good bread. All four could
be sown in fall for harvest the following summer.
winter crop, however, could be easily lost to a particularly cold
winter or stormy spring, so to hedge their bets medieval farmers
would plant a second crop in the spring.
Several steps were involved in planting a grain crop.
farmers worked on a three-field rotation system: one field for
grain, one field for hay, and a third left fallow, which frequently
meant it was sown with a legume which would be plowed under to
enrich the soil. The fields themselves were long narrow strips of
land, and one would cultivate strips which were not contiguous, the
idea being that that way nobody would be stuck with all the bad
The soil would be enriched throughout the winter with lime,
chalk, manure, and by plowing under burnt weeds. A sport called
"camping," which involved two teams trying to take each other's men
prisoner, was sometimes played on fallow fields and was encouraged
as a means of breaking up clods.
Rye, Olive Trees,