Boars Head Handout in the rough.

I am putting together a class on historical gardening, and today will be the first version of it, a round table discussion that will allow me to present some information and learn about what things are most interesting to students. The topic is pretty huge and I am right now leaning towards a description of accessible internet resources to encourage people to go look the information up and a discussion of how the garden can be a metaphor for A&S participation in the SCA. The below is the rough list of links. I’m just going to direct folks to this list, so that I can refine it as the class develops, and so that it is easily accessible to the class participants.

University and Museum Gardens:
The Cloisters:
Santa Clara University:
UMass: and

Colonial Williamsburg is post SCA-period, but the gardener’s blog often has interesting historical and applied gardening information:

Primary Sources:
The Middle English Translation of Palladius De re Rustca:
The book of husbandry:
The Profitable Arte of Gardening:
A perfite platforme of a hoppe garden and necessarie instructions for the making and mayntenaunce thereof:
500 points of husbandry:

SCA Websites:

1. Medieval and Renaissance Gardens, Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jennifer Heise)
2. Incorporating Period Garden Ideas in your garden. (same auhor as #1)
3. Karen Larsdatter’s collection of links (look at the agriculture section):

Pinterest boards:

Elise Boucher:
Susan Malovrh:
Ginger Bats:
Prue Batten:
Lady Narf:
Jen Jaros:

Research on Various Aspects of Medieval and Renaissance gardens:

1. Horticulture and Art:
2. Miscelaneous bits I pulled together myself:!952&authkey=!AHlsajlsKytKTSY&ithint=file%2crtf
3. The Cucurbitaceae and Solanaceae illustrated in medieval manuscripts known as the Tacuinum Sanitatis
4. Kitchen Garden Report:
(This last suggestion is a very nice round-up of information. If you only construct a garden from information here and from Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (Jennifer Heise), you’ll be all right)

Simple start to a mixed use garden:

Varieties believed to be an heirloom from or near the SCA time frame:

Carlin Peas – In the United States, currently only available to Seed Savers Exchange Members. This is one of my projects for the AS L/AS LI garden, to grow enough to make samples available to other interested gardeners.

Martock—a variety of Broad Beans also currently available only to members of Seed Savers Exchange. Substitute Windsor fava bean Canadians can buy 2 varieties of Martock at Prarie Garden Seeds:

Crapaudine Beet: Currently available at Baker Creek,

Norfolk Purple Turnip:
Parsley, Hamburg Rooted

Vegetables, herbs, flowers known in period but with uncertain timelines:

These are chosen in accordance with the earliest known date for a plant with a known date for the variety, or, in a few cases, the only variety of seed you can currently get.

Salsify – a vegetable that will produce a beautifyul, tall purple flower in its second year.

Long Yellow Carrots
Possible varieties
Jaune du Doubs

(I did not have time to list ’em all before 5 Dec, so here is a board of varieties appropriate for the Tudor Kitchen Garden:

Plant Lists:

Seed Sellers:

Heritage Harvest Seed:

My Personal Favorites:

Seed Savers Exchange
Victory Seeds

Other Well-recommended vendors:
Baker Creek
High Mowing
Seeds of Change
Territorial Seeds
Hudson Valley Seed Library

And, for folks who want to shop local to Northshield:

St Clare Seeds (Wisconsin)
Vermont Bean Seed (also dba Totally Tomatoes) (Wisconsin)
Prairie Road Organic Seed (North Dakota)
Heritage Harvest Seed (Manitoba)
Mandy’s Greenhouse (Manitoba)
Soggy Creek Seeds (Ontario, but outside of Northshield.)

UDSA hardiness zones for Northshield range from Zone 5 (the warmest) to Zone 3 (the coldest). UDSA Hardiness zones applied to Europe place most of western Europe, including portions of Norway, Sweden, and Germany, at Zone 10 (the warmest) to Zone 6 (the coldest.) You don’t see typical Midwestern winter temperatures until you enter Eastern Europe or the interior areas of Norway and Sweden. What does this mean? The typical countries that Northshielders claim, even the most inhabited parts of Scandinavia, are warmer than Northshield. This can make growing many plants challenging. Summers are shorter and winters are colder.

Choose varieties that are appropriate for your area. Sometimes this means that, even if you can get a hold of a variety of melon that was grown pre-1601 (and if you find that melon, do let me know what it is), your summer may be too short to grow it; pick a variety that looks similar and, if possible, crossed back over the Atlantic from Germany or Russia or wherever.

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