Author Topic: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;  (Read 1626 times)

(RIP) Anderson Buck

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Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« on: 24 September, 2016, 04:08:08 AM »

Formally Welcoming You To Scotland's
First Annual Autumn Harvest

And Of Course The Equinox - A Time Of Balance In The World
Held This Year In The City Of Edinburgh - County Lothian

For The Duration Of The Harvest;
Special Guest Speakers On The Topic: Farming Techniques
Pitchers Of Harvest Beer Are Just 5 Silver Coins**
Loaves Of Harvest Bread Are Just 1 Silver Coin**
Taxes In The City Will Be Set To 0%
Courses At The University Will Cost 0
Training At The Grounds Will Cost 0
A Prize Of 50 Silver Coins To Them Who Improve A Stat
And The Great Autumn Hunt - For Captains Only!*
*The Prized Anderson Buck Has Been Spotted In Scotland/Can You Hunt Him Down And Arrest Him?
**While There Is A Supply Of It

(RIP) Anderson Buck

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Re: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« Reply #1 on: 24 September, 2016, 04:31:10 AM »
Greetings everyone; so sorry this being the last day of the festival.  We did want to give our guest speakers some time to speak on the topic of "Techniques in Agriculture", though.  First we have Ubaldo Zorzini with some very practical knowledge of the topic, followed by Ioannes "Johannes" De Tata with his academic (and real world) variety.  And lastly Ancilla Hospain, with a very special treat for all of us up here in Scotland trying to grow in the most frosty of conditions.

And OFF; Some of you may like to roleplay participating in the event.  You are very welcome to.  This is not at all a closed sort.

(RIP) Ancilla Hospain

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Re: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« Reply #2 on: 24 September, 2016, 05:00:33 AM »
Greetings to everyone.

I was asked to speak tonight on the subject of growing crops in colder climates. First I will share some personal experiences relating to cold climates. Last I would like to share a story.

Winters were cold were I grew up. So cold the ground would freeze, the snow would be dry, and the sun would only rise a bit above the southern hills. In Spring, tilling the ground into raised rows for planting would help keep the dirt warmer. Many plants were started as seedlings in greenhouses and planted on the raised rows after all chances of frosts were over. I remember the greenhouses would smell due to a method of heating them. In late fall the greenhouses would be dug out and filled with manure and mulch. A layer of dirt was placed over the smelly concoction of animal and plant waste. The winter would of course freeze all these materials, but the late winter sun, now beginning to rise higher in the sky, would thaw the greenhouse much earlier then the fields. When the manure began to ferment a heat would also be produced thereby leaving the greenhouses frost free. This would also produce a rich soil to be spread over the fields after harvesting.
That is about all I remember of raising crops. I must admit to you, the greenhouse duties was something I helped at, but my primary family duty was to receive an education. During my education I was told a story I would like to share with you. The Story came to me within a class on management, perhaps unrelated to growing crops, of institutions, people, and resources. This story was told by a military commander giving a guest lecture to my class mates and myself. Here is the story.
This military commander was attending a similar management class to be an officer. He was attending class and a question was posed to him and his fellow future officers. The questions was, "How do you raise a flag pole?" The officer told us how he and his class mates spent the better part of an hour writing in detail all the finer points of raising a flag pole. The depth of the hole, materials to be used, each task described to the letter just as expected of any good military procedure. The officer told us how sure he was of doing well on the question as he handed in the paper. When all the papers were handed in the professor picked up the stack of papers and tossed them into the waste basket. The professor followed his outlandish behavior by saying, "The correct answer is, you tell the Sargent to raise a flag pole."
The people who know the most about raising crops are the peasants and serfs who work the land, repair the fences, train the draft animals, and share their generational knowledge with their children. All I have to do is make sure they have land, a home, and resources to make their knowledge useful.

Thank you

(RIP) Anderson Buck

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Re: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« Reply #3 on: 24 September, 2016, 05:04:02 AM »
Thank you so much, Ancilla.   :)

(RIP) Ioans De Tata

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An Essay on Coinage
« Reply #4 on: 24 September, 2016, 12:20:55 PM »
Lectio Epistulae Iohanni Rectoris Universitatis Borgianae Valentianae:

"It is mine purpose to illustrate the values and uses of coinage, and their impact on the worth of goods, and vice versa. Firstly in order to know what is ahead of us, we must know what these coins are, and how they weight, and of what metals they are made.

The most common coin in circulation is the denar, in Latin denarius. This coin has the weight of 1.7 grams of silver. In England it is called penny, plural, pence.
While the most circulating coin has ever been the denar, it is not the base unit of calculation. For values greater than 12 d, one uses the term Solidus, or Schilling, and 20 of those make one Pound, or Livre. Then on, when calculating large quantities of silver, one can calculate in Marks, which vary in weight and value, but are approximately 350 grams of silver throughout Europe.
You will hence see that no coins other than silver ones are herein mentioned, and that the only ones in circulation are those minted in the East by the Romans, those minted in Florence, and Venice, and those of the Saracen world. There are always in each nation, coins of lesser value, and lesser metal, such as copper, which enter into the denar as farthings, obols and halfdenars.

Of the so called doubloon, which apparently has no value in the markets, and despite being perceived as gold, such is not, for its worth is only a fraction more than a silver denar, I will not speak further.

As a practical means of illustrating values, I bring this table:

 1 mark = 13s 4d
 1 pound (L) = 20 shillings (s)
 1 shilling = 12 pence (d)
 1 penny = 4 farthings - obols

Now let us look at the real value of the denar in Carolingian times:

"in time of abundance or scarcity of the harvest, than the public muid* brings according to recent decree. For a muid of oats one denarius, for a muid of barley two denarii, for a muid of rye three denarii, for a muid of wheat four denarii. But if he wishes to sell it as bread, he ought to give twelve wheaten loaves, each weighing two pounds, for one denarius; fifteen of rye of equal weight for one denarius; twenty barley loaves of the same weight, or twenty-five oat cakes of the same weight, for one denarius. As for the public grain of the lord king, if it be sold, two muids of oats shall be sold for a denarius, one of barley for a denarius, one of rye for two denarii, one of wheat for three denarii." Capitulary of Frankfurt, 794
*muid/modius - varying unit of weight. Generally equal to 200-400 litres.

And here we see the prices of beasts, and other goods, given by Charles the Great in the year 797:

"A yearling ox of either sex, just as it is sent to the byre in autumn, one solidus; likewise in the spring, when it leaves the byre, one solidus; and from that time, as its age increases, so will it increase in price. Let those near to us give forty bushels* of corn and twenty of rye for one solidus, but in the north thirty bushels of oats and fifteen of rye for one solidus. But for one solidus let those near to us give one and a half sigla of honey; but in the north let them give two sigla of honey for one solidus. Also they shall give as much good barley as rye for one solidus. Twelve denarii of silver shall make a solidus."

*bushel - cantingly, it is a wheelbarrow load.

While Charles the Great's Kingdom stretched far and wide cross Europe, his wills and measures, coins and values proved to be unbound by territory, and soon enough even the Saxons began using them, and even the Moor recognized the power of these coins.
From the times of the Carolingians, the prices have varied greatly, along with the priviledge of minting money. While only official state moneyers could have existed during Carolingian times, the following centuries have brought an extension of these rights. The Capetians gave many Counts the right of minting, monneys (battre monnaie), and thusly were robbed of supremacy. The counts of Anjou, Champagne, the Dukes of Aquitaine, Counts of Toulouse, Melgueilh, Artois, and many more minted their own denars, surely all recognized and valued properly, yet private in both mine and mint. This lasted until the time of Louis the Saint.
The matter of inflation and false moneys has always been combatted severely, with a loss of life and limbs at stake, and yet was always perpetrated promptly, as soon as the local or Royal power had diminished.

Now, let us see what the prices of the previous centuries were, in comparison with those of today, where possible. ME prices vary, and quantites and weight are sometimes abstract, this following table will take into account one of everything, or more when suitable:

REAL                                                               ME


3 mason's tools (not named)     9d 
1 spade and shovel                   3d              ~  20d
1 axe                                         5d              ~  35d
Anvil                                          20s           
Bellows                                     30s             ~  40d
Hammers                                  8d-2s 8d     ~  20d
2 chisels                                   8d   

  Cheapest                      3d-4d/gal             ~  5.5 d
  Best                              8d-10d/gal           ~  7-10d

  First-rate                      1-1.25d/gal          ~  2.5-3.5 d
  Second-rate                   .75-1d/gal          ~  0.5-1.75d

Cheese  (20 lbs)                 1s 2d               ~  7-10d     


  Board                             104s/year             
  Clothing                          40s/year     
  Instruction                      26s 8d/year  (320d)      ~ 200 d per course (Universitas Borgiana de Valencia)
  Minimum                            £2£L3/year
  Student of good birth         £4£L10/year 


 Cottage (1 bay, 2 storeys)      £2               ~   367 d  (1.5 £)     Hut
 Row house in York                  £5                ~  1836 d  (7.6£)    Wooden house
 Craftsman's house                 £10£L15       ~  4284 d  (17.5£)  Large wooden house
 Modest hall and chamber      £12                ~  8568 d  (35£)     Small brick house ?
 Merchant's house                £33£L66          ~  17136 d  (71£)   Large Brick house
 House with courtyard            £90+              ~  34272 d   (142£) Villa

Mail                            100d                            ~ 90d
Squire's armor                  £5-£6 16s 8d        ~200 d?
Complete Lance Armor      £3 6s 8d              ~2000-2500d?
Complete corselets           30s         
Morion                              3s 4d     
Burgonet                          4s       
Lance Armor                     £4         
Cuirass with cap                £4         
Bascinet                        13s 4d             


Cheap sword (peasant's)         6d        ~25,77 d (short sword) 
Sword (good)                           1£        ~95 d     (longsword)
Sword (exquisite)                     4-10£

In conclusion, certain aspects of life are extremely similar in our times, to those of times past, and such are the prices of it. Sadly, today no one calculates properly the weight of the denar, thusly robbing the world of the Solidus and the Pound. At times, it was for our fathers a tedious calculation, yet once acquainted with it, it becomes a joy, as any other problem of Algebra. Considering the legere way of life we lead, thanks to the efforts of our forebears, we can now say that everyone has held in their hands many a denar, and some even gold of the East. let us hope Theos will preserve us of the misery of famine and pennilesness, and conclude in prayer this lesson."


(RIP) Ubaldo Zorzi

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Crop farmimg
« Reply #5 on: 24 September, 2016, 03:14:53 PM »

I would like to tell you something about growing crops, how to do so in the most efficent way and how it was made in the past.
Crop farming (along with extracting resourses) is a foundation of whole European economics in our times, we depend on our field not only for our food, but also feed for our animals and material for our clothes. First article will be a summary for beginner, if you consider yourself as an experienced farmer feel free to skip it.

You came to a countryside with a simple thought, to grow crops and you do not know how? Do be afraid, dear peasant, it is not difficult but it will require some money or as we, educated craftmen, say: a contribution of capital.
1) You need a field, it's obvious, isn't it? Let's look around and see where we are. Do you see a enormous building with stone walls,  high towers and guards all around? You are lucky enough to be in a region with a castle, let's go there and buy a field or two! And what if you don't see any castle, only dirty small huts? You have to go to a village and buy your field there.  If you don't have enough money try to write your king or queen with humble request of some help or loan on field. They will definitely eager to help you.
2) You need a hoe in your hand, seeds and fertilizer in your field's invenotory. Go to a market and buy everything needed. The type of seeds depends of course on which crop do you want to grow.
There are following kinds:
      Wheat Seed --> Wheat Bag and Hay
      Mulberry Seed --> Mulberry and Mulberry Leaf
      Cotton Seed --> Cotton Yarn
      Linen Seed --> Linen Yarn
      Medical Herb Seed --> Medical Herb
      Flowers Seed --> Flowers
      Hop Seed --> Hop
      Grape Seed --> Grape
3) Go to your field and sow your seeds and fertilize it. It will take something around 2 hours depending on your strength and clothes.
4) Wait 10 hours.
5) Harvest your crops, it will take also about 2 hours.
Hurray, now you grow your crops and you can do it over and over!

However life is never simple, so certain crops grow better in certain climate and terrain. You should always grow only in ideal conditions, otherwise you are wasting your potential and losing competitive ability. Every combination has something to grow in, but without doubrt some region types are better for growing than others.
For these crops ideal conditions are:
   Wheat --> Flat/Mild
   Medical Herbs ---> Flat/Mild
   Hop ---> Flat/Cold, Hilly/Cold, Mountainous/Cold
   Cotton ---> Flat/Hot
   Mulberry ---> Mountainous/Mild
   Grape ---> Mild/Hilly
   Linen ---> Flat/Hot, Flat/Mild
   Flowers ---> Flat/Mild, Hilly/Mild
How to achive efficency with work cycles? This is a dificult question, it heavily depends on your possibilites. I can give you only my personal advices and schedule, but feel free to work how it fits you. Every morning I gather crops from my first field, which I sowed yesterday evening. Then I sow it again to be able to harvest in the evening of the same day. These two works lasts about 3 hours in my case, so after end of the harvest it is two hourse before noon. Then I go to rest and then harvest and sow my second field, it can be easily done within 10 hours, while plants on the first field are growing. Rested and full of energy I harvest and sow my first field in the evening. In this time I can even go to work to my workshop but I always try to remain rested to be the next morning at least to harvest and sow one field. I call this system three-cycle system, in the next chapter you get to know why.

Now we know quite a lot about growing crops (at least I hope so) it is time to look how it was in reality made and which methods did our ancestor use to survive. In our period it was very common the system called three-field system, which was improvement of previous two-field system. What is all this about? Land is divided into three equal parts, one third was planted to wheat, barley, or rye in autumn, the second third was planted in spring to oats, barley, and legumes to be harvested in late summer. The legumes (peas and beans) strengthened the soil by their nitrogen-fixing ability and at the same time improved the human diet. Only a third of the land lay fallow, which was a great progress to the previous system where half of the land lay fallow and was used only to pasture cattle. This change greatly influenced  the whole society, now it was possible to make more food with less people and simultaneous improving of farming tools allowed European population not only to grow, but also more people can settle in cities. Less people can now grow food for more people and this enabled rapid expansion of craft, trade and most importantly cities.
« Last Edit: 24 September, 2016, 03:19:14 PM by Ubaldo Zorzi »

(RIP) Anderson Buck

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Re: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« Reply #6 on: 24 September, 2016, 06:29:18 PM »
Smart!  Some very interesting knowledge to be had from those.  We thank you very much, Johannes and Ubaldo.

Also, I have been informed that it is the will of Queen Aviendha; we be allowed to celebrate the Autumn Harvest festival for two more days.  That is the 25th day and 26th day.  But we have to promise to have everything cleaned up in the early hours of the 27th so that normal activity may resume.

Hey, Happy Autumn to Everybody!  May you be especially blessed and warm this season.

(RIP) Fiona Am Brina

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Re: Scotland's First Annual Autumn Harvest/Role Play;
« Reply #7 on: 25 September, 2016, 07:00:47 AM »
((Moved by request))

Fiona set down the final beer barrel behind her stall, and leaned backwards to work the kinks from her spine after carrying heavy cask after heavy cask. "Och, I'm gettin' tae old fer this," muttered a woman not yet even in her 30's. She shrugged her shoulders and rolled her neck a few times, then headed to her cart to grab the crate of tankards, and set up a sign reading

Festival Beer! 5 Silver!

A picture of a mug and five coins was etched below for those who could not read.

Plastering a pleasant smile on her face, Fiona took her place behind the bar, sipping a sample of her workmanship. She judged it a tad sweet, but with a nice bitter kick at the end. "Well come on then!" she urged the crowd. "Sate yer thirst!"