Bringing the Early Iron Age to Life

Reclaiming land

I have begun the process of clearing out the scrub and weeds to make a new section of our farm usable. The challenge of this is that particular section is on a hillside, facing east. While this is not generally a problem, it does present some challenges. While there are a few small patches that are mostly flat, I intend to use the hill as well. The biggest problem, is that as we go through the growing season, this area will get most sun in the morning hours – due to the hill, and the fact that the broch is to the west of this patch of land.

Once I get all the growth cut down, then comes the digging out of the bramble’s roots.

Mundane stuff: I have decided to experiment with turning our back yard jungle into an arable patch of land for my growing experiments of period (or as close as I can get) crops and vegetables. One of the cereal crops I know will do well in my part of Ohio, is Bere Barley, which through evidence found at various broch sites and other archaeological digs, has been found to at least the Bronze Age. My next cereal crop to experiment with growing is Bristle Oat (or Black Oat as it’s more commonly known). The challenge with the Bristle Oat, is to find a variety that has been grown in Orkney and dates back to at least the 5th century, if not further back. There is a cultivar that has been developed in Brazil with cooperation from a university in Arizona, but it is not cold tolerant. i will have to do some more research and see if it is possible to get viable seed from one of the northern countries (Shetland maybe?) legally.


Mundane land – Looking east-southeast and downhill.


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