Sub-Roman farming was in many ways a step backward from the previous age. With a loss of technology and a reduction of trade, there was less metal to use on agricultural implements.


  • Mouldboard Plow: The primary tool of a farmer was the plow. It was used to create furrows for planting.

Sickle: Used for reaping grain. Scythe: Used for cutting grass.


Plows were not very heavy, so that the furrows were not very deep. That meant that not much of the soil was turned upside down, and new, fertile soil was not used.

To make up for failing soil fertility, medieval farmers practiced field rotation. For every three fields, one would be devoted to a summer crop, one to a winter crop, and one would lie fallow.


The average farm was about 30 acres. These were divided into half-acre strips to be found throughout their lord's manor so that each person had access to the best and worst land on the manor. Normal yield was 8 or 9 bushels of grain per acre.


A farmer could have any of a number of animals - chickens, cattle, horses, oxen, or pigs. These were all much smaller than our modern equivalents. Without specific breeding practices of the contemporary world, the farm animals of the fifth century may have been as much as 30% smaller than today's animals.

Common LandEdit

Non-tillable soil was considered common land. A farmer could bring his animals there to graze, take a portion of its hay and wood.

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