Agriculture

Farming and gardening, animal husbandry, forestry

Tulips brought to Europe by the Turks

New research by experts at the University of Cordoba and the School of Arabic Studies seems to indicate that the first tulips in Europe were brought to Islamic Spain by way of Byzantium. The bulbs could then have been brought to Holland, where they became the country's symbol.

Winter woolies

What do you do when the calendar says it's spring, but a glance out of the window says it's still winter? You put on a sweater and hope for the sunshine. But what if you are a sheared sheep...?

"BaaaStuds" in the hills of Wales

Leave it to the Welsh! With a little help from Samsung, a group of ingenious shepherds in Wales have created art - and entertainment - from some LEDs and a flock of sheep.

Burgundy vineyards dated to Roman times

A recent archaeological dig sponsored by the Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives and the ARTeHIS Laboratory (CNRS/Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication/Université de Bourgogne) shows that the production of burgundy wine near Dijon, France dates to Roman times.

Santa Clara University showcases medieval garden

In honor of its namesake St. Clare of Assisi, Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California has created a medieval garden dedicated to the saint who was "was often compared to a plant or garden." The university's website includes a great deal of information on medieval gardens.

Mongolian dogs "brave and deadly"

An article for Mongolia-Attractions.com discusses the characteristics of the dogs, which have changed little since the time of the Huns.

The archaeology of farming

Those interested in the history of farming and agriculture will want to visit Roberta Alunni's website on the Fratticciola Museum of Farming Culture which looks at "parallels between Etruscan and Tuscan agriculture."

Gardening at the Cloisters

The Cloisters, the medieval museum in New York City, provides a blog discussing issues pertaining to medieval gardens including such topics at topiary, herbs, seasonal plants, and gardening techniques.

Lucrezia Borgia: businesswoman

New research by an American historian, Diane Yvonne Ghirardo, may show that Lucrezia Borgia was falsely accused of the murder of her husband, and that she may have been more involved with business than with intrigue.

2009: International Year of Natural Fibres

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome has declared 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres. Such natural fibers as cotton, wool, silk, jute and flax are being promoted for their efficiency and sustainability, and to "contribute to a greener planet."

American reforestation may have led to "Little Ice Age"

A new study by Stanford University researchers suggests that the reforestation of areas in the Americas following the collapse of pre-Columbian population centers may have triggered the Little Ice Age which occurred from 1500 to 1750.

The lost art of hedge-laying returns to England

The art of hedge-laying pre-dates Roman Britain, a fact documented by Julius Caesar who wrote in 55 BCE, "It was fashioned of slender trees, bent over so that many branches came out along the length...so that it could not be penetrated or even seen through." Modern life has been hard on the hedges, but new interest may save the ancient craft.

Leeks brought to Wales to flavor Roman stew

Andrew Dixey, Estate Manager for National Museum Wales, has created a Roman garden designed to help visitors understand the life of Romans in Wales. Among the plants brought to the country by the Romans was the garden leek, the unofficial symbol of Wales.

Medieval road mapping project reveals 12th century tannery

A team of experts working on a project to map Norman and Saxon roads through central England failed to find them in Wallingford, but instead unearthed a 12th to 13th century tannery.

[DRA] Medieval Pharmaceuticals Workshop

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It is with great pleasure that I would hereby like to announce that Knights Crossing will be hosting a workshop on medieval pharmaceuticals and herbs on the weekend of May 30-June 1. Simona Valentini di Piero will be teaching how to make basic salves, essential oils and creams from primary source recipes; enjoy a walk through the fields and forest in which we will learn to identify various useful plants in their natural habitat. Learn about the equipment used and the primary sources that we have on this subject. There will be a small fee for materials and for food for the weekend, but dinner will be Potluck. Location:
Barony of Knights Crossing (Weinheim, Germany)

Reminder: Do not take firewood to/from Pennsic War

Pennsic attendees are reminded not to bring firewood to or take it home from the event, due to a government-mandated quarantine of firewood transportation into and out of Butler County, where Cooper's Lake Campground is located.

Roman farmers leave agricultural legacy

Archaeologists working in the Tron­çais forest of France have discovered over 100 Roman settlements, the legacy of which continue to affect the ecology of the area.

Firewood quarantine affects Pennsic War site

A firewood quarantine imposed by Pennsylvania government officials will affect, among other areas, Butler County, which includes Cooper's Lake Campground where Pennsic War is held.

Scientists Study Why No Unicorns Exist

Scientists at the John Innes Centre and the University of Calgary asked "Why are there no unicorns?" To answer the question, they are studying the evolutionary biology of flower branching displays.

16th century Welsh castle for sale

Boverton Castle in Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, is being auctioned starting at a mere UK£55,000. architects advise, however, that necessary renovation of the site could cost at least six figures.

"Walk Through a Medieval Herb Garden" in Milwaukee

On March 10, 2007, Mary Moskoff, Ph.D., LCSW will present a talk A Walk Through a Medieval Herb Garden at the Spring Symposium presented by the Herb Society of America - Wisconsin Unit. The lecture will take place at the Woman's Club of Wisconsin, 813 Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

Long-time Boston-area SCAdian featured in article

Cassandra Boell von Bayer has been part of the SCA for about 29 years and has gained repute for her skill in costuming and small animal husbandry. A recent article in The Bolton Common profiles her SCA life.

Northshield Heraldic & Scribal Symposium

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Come join us for a wonderful day of heraldry and scribal arts taught by Northshield's finest! Bring your personal and group's heraldic banner, books, illuminations, and any heraldic/scribal crafts (tablet woven belts, blackwork, etc...) to display and share in a “show and tell” session! There will also be a full day of children's activities.

Please contact the Class Coordinator if you are interested in teaching a class (or if you have a class you would like to see taught). Deadline is February 26th for submitting a class. Location:
Shire of Rockhaven (St. Cloud, Minnesota)

400-year-old seeds help tell Jamestown story

The recent discovery of some 400-year-old seeds in a well at the Colonial Jamestown archaeological site has given researchers much to ponder about the life and survival skills of the early Jamestown settlers.

Rhiannan of Lowery, Western Herbalist and Textiles Expert, has died

Rhiannon Lowrey, Wylowen's wife and Mistress Seelie's apprentice, died Saturday afternoon, 13 January 2007, at her home in Camino, CA.

Singing sheep send seasonable sentiments

The Baarmy Sheep of the Lake District in Cumbria, England have garnered so many hits on the Cumbria Tourism's website with last year's Christmas songs that the organization was forced to offer a free download.

Early Horse Domestication Evidence in Kazahkstan

Evidence from soil suggests that people were relying on domesticated horses for survival more than 5,000 years ago.

SCA Encouraged to Join ALHFAM

At the recent SCA Board of Directors meeting, it was suggested that the SCA become a member of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums. ALHFAM is an organization "that serves those involved in living historical farms, agricultural museums and outdoor museums of history and folklore."

Domesticated Animals of the Iron Age

A British website offers an historic view of the breeds of animals which shared their lives with Iron Age people. These included sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses and fowl. The article includes photos of these breeds' ancestors.

Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank

Scholars and writers researching currency exchange and commodities prices will want to take a look at Rutgers University's Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank which has compiled commercial data primarily from northern Europe and Venice.