The history of the medieval vegetable gardens of the common man and woman: the poorness of descriptions and pictures

In search of depictions of medieval vegetables, a study of medieval vegetable gardens of the common men and women was made. These gardens commonly occurred, but as they were probably too vulgar they were not described and depicted. In legal cases or financial accounts their presence has only been documented. Exchange of seed, seedware and knowledge between the common men and women maintaining vegetable gardens and gardeners of vegetable gardens of castles, mansions, monasteries, abbeys and hospitals, and vice versa is decribed. It is suggested that links between both groups were frequent and strong, as most monks, although often entering the monastery at a young age, and servants of chatelains have grown up in ‘common’ families and ‘received’ their first practical training in gardens of the common (wo)men, often their parents. During visits seed, seedware and knowledge will have been exchanged.

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