Medieval Farming Calendar

Medieval Farming Calendar

The Medieval farming calendar revolved around the weather - specific duties had to be completed during certain seasons by peasant farmers, otherwise no crops would grow.

The following table is a calendar charting the farming work done during each month of the year and the type of weather desired by the farmer.

Medieval Farming
Medieval Farming
Month Work that needed to be done Weather the farmer wanted
January Mending and making tools, repairing fences Showers
February Carting manure and marl Showers
March Ploughing and spreading manure Dry, no severe frosts
April Spring sowing of seeds, harrowing Showers and sunshine
May Digging ditches, first ploughing of fallow fields Showers and sunshine
June Haymaking, second ploughing of fallow field, sheep-shearing Dry weather
July Haymaking, sheep-shearing, weeding of crops Dry early, showers later
August Harvesting Warm, dry weather
September Threshing, ploughing and pruning fruit trees Showers
October Last ploughing of the year Dry, no severe frosts
November Collecting acorns for pigs Showers and sunshine
December Mending and making tools, killing animals Showers and sunshine
Marl A limy clay which the people of medieval england used as manure.
Frosts Medieval peasants particularly worried about this as only one severe frost to happen during the growing season had the potential to kill off a peasant’s crop. Frosts would also have a major impact on seeds, and a bad frost could mean a family or village were left without crops for the whole year.
Harrowing This was a spiked farming tool which covered seeds after they were planted, just like a huge garden rake.
Fallow Fields Farming fields which farmers left to themselves for a year so the field could become strong again. In the case that a field kept being used repeatedly every year, its fertility would disappear. This system does appear to be wasted since farmers lost land, but back then it was the only method of not wearing out the land.
Acorns Acorns originate from oak trees and these were very common in Medieval England. Acorns were also used for feeding up pigs who allowed to roam forests and feast on them. These acorns were available for free and a lord would not have a problem with this as he would not be needing the acorns - but his interest would lie with the fattened pigs for succulent meat.
Heavy Rain Rain was a concern in the summer as this was when the crop was almost fully grown and a severe rain storm could make the crop flat, meaning harvesting would be almost impossible.

See also: Medieval Farming

MLA Citation/Reference

"Medieval Farming Calendar". 2015. Web.