The Catholic Church influenced many things, even (especially?) agriculture, as this passage from History of the English Landed Interest: Its Customs, Laws, and Agriculture, by Russell Montague Garnier (1908) 2nd. ed, vol. 1, implies. The monastery libraries also held much treasure, opening up the monks to the wonders of old knowledge and enabling them to … More The Random Herbalist: The Church as Farmer
The history of medicine, a fascinating subject, shows how people began to understand more and more about the corporeal body. Herbs played a big role in the evolution of this understanding, and medieval monasteries encapsulated this knowledge: The curriculum of these cathedral schools embraced originally the Trivium, (arithmetic, grammar, music), and the Quadrivium (dialectics, rhetoric, … More The Random Herbalist: Charlemagne, St. Gall, and the History of Medicine
Along with dill, which we’ve briefly brushed by, other plants also traveled with the monks as they made their way across Europe: To the monks, who in their way were great gardeners, we are indebted for the introduction of several plants ; and since in many cases the ancient monastery has disappeared, the flowers which … More The Random Herbalist: Monks and Plant Migration
With this post, I celebrate a year of writing “Gherkins & Tomatoes!” Thank you so much to everyone who visits the blog. I look forward to the coming year! The Romans wielded profound influence on the architecture and organization of monasteries … and, hence, on us … centuries later. According to Viollet-le-Duc : —* ” … More The Random Herbalist: The Roman Influence on Monastic Gardens
[NOTE: I’d like to thank the readers of Gherkins & Tomatoes for their patience this summer — in the last few weeks I’ve moved from a house where I’ve lived for fourteen years, my favorite cat died, and I’ve been writing under deadline for an article for an encyclopedia as well as for a local … More The Random Herbalist: St. Gall, A Model Garden Plan?
Charlemagne had a shovel in every monastic garden, or so it seems:* As early as the days of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) the cloister owned outside property, and just as at Canterbury we must conclude that the plan of St. Gall meant the orchards and vineyards to be outside. The whole time of Charles the … More The Random Herbalist: The Hortus Eremitje
I find the following books enlightening, soothing, and motivating. My plan is to create/design a medieval/monastic herb garden over the upcoming winter and plant it starting next spring.* Monastic Gardens, by Mick Hales (2000) Private worlds glimpsed by a privileged few, monasteries have long maintained an aura of mystery. Outsiders imagine the silent seclusion, the … More The Random Herbalist: Books About Monastic and Medieval Gardens