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>>Vince Russett <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
   
  But see George Ewart Evans: that's exactly how it was done in early 20th
century East Anglia.
  >>
   
  Well yes, but we are talking about East Anglia here and I have spent some years there and know that they get up to some of the most strangest of things in those parts. And things I would not necessarily rely on...
  >>
   
  There are other, subtle signs, as every keen
vegetable grower will know. When do the first weeds appear? When does
the appearance of tilled earth change from the winter form to the spring
(as it does). I agree there's a need to understand something about the
seasons to be a successful pre-industrial farmer, of course it is, but
that's not difficult if you are out of doors most of the time, and you
really don't need to know the calendar to the day to grow successfully.

Don't forget many plants cannot survive a late frost, so planting too
early can also be difficult. Admittedly, there are hardy crops (like
Aquadulce broad beans) which like to overwinter, and grains are much
hardier still. Probably plant diseases were just as much responsible for
crop loss as weather, and they tend to be much more virulent when plants
are stressed by environmental conditions, too. 
  >>
   
  But are we not talking, in the main, of the staple crop of Neolithic Britain, namely wheat or its early ancestors, rather than root or folia vegetables? Indeed you can be more variable, and often need to be with early frosts in mind, with vegetables but cereal agriculture is a different kettle. 


 		
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