All the villagers in Yalding have a small area of land next to their house called a croft. The villagers use this land to grow cabbages, onions, peas, beans, leeks, parsnips, garlic, parsley, sage and other herbs. Some people in Yalding also grow fruit bushes on their croft.
Cabbages were first found growing wild along the British coastline. Cabbages have been grown by English farmers since the 1st century B.C.
Onions were originally cultivated by people in Western Asia. Onions were first brought to England by the Romans in the first century. Grated raw onion was rubbed on the skin of people suffering from arthritis and chilblains. People in the 14th century also believed that onions mixed with honey prevented plague and helped increase hair growth.
Beans were originally cultivated in Italy. They were brought to England by the Romans in the first century A.D. Romans discovered that only certain types of bean grew in England. Both the field bean and the broad bean were grown in England in the 14th century.
Peas were originally cultivated in Western Asia. They were brought to England by the Romans in the first century AD
Leeks were originally cultivated by the Ancient Egyptians. Leeks were first brought to England by the Romans in the first century AD Cooked leeks were used to treat burns, abscesses and boils. A leek syrup was also used for coughs and bronchitis.
When the Romans settled in England they planted a large number of fruit trees. The apples and pears from these trees were smaller, harder and less sweet than those we eat today. Medieval farmers tended to believe that eating uncooked fruit made people ill. Some people also grew cherries, plums, strawberries, damsons and gooseberries on their croft.
1. The Romans first settled in England in 43 AD Explain the influence that the Romans had on English farming.
2. (a) Make a list of the food eaten by people living in the 14th century. (b) Make a list of the food that you eat. Give as many reasons as you can why the 14th century list is different from your list.