Only 48 hours left in our kickstarter!

New rewards and stretch goals. CLICK HERE!



  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

LOTR Nerds, I need your help  RSS feed

 
Andrew Tuttle
Posts: 20
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Im currently attending alderleaf wilderness college in Monroe WA. Part of the curriculum is Permaculture. For our design project my group has been given the task of creating a "Larpers paradise" permaculture farm. I am currently compiling a list of foods eaten by Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs to be incorporated into our design. Im not a huge Tolkien buff and finding info online about this topic has been difficult. No this is not a joke. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Food I may not be of much help with, but I have a larger group that comes to my camp, I'll ask them.

The one thing I did talk to them about was ring forts, basically a ring of sharpened poles buried in a circle to be a defense then all the village is inside....I asked if that would work fir larding and they freaked out! They loved it! Google ring fort....

I'll ask them and relay any food info.
 
Andrew Tuttle
Posts: 20
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks! ill look into that. Sounds like a great way to keep the costs down and look authentic.
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Posted your question to the leader of a regional group of larpers page, we'll have some answers soon!

Ring fort
image.jpeg
[Thumbnail for image.jpeg]
image.jpg
[Thumbnail for image.jpg]
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1363
Location: northern California
43
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would consider the basic diet of northern and western Europe in the Middle Ages for a template to work from. I would guess that most of the foods present then are also present in Tolkien's works. Grain, bread, beer and wine, vegetables, fruits, and meats. Nothing exotic and nearly no spices. A notable anomaly is the significant presence of white potatoes and tobacco, both New World plants; and perhaps reflective of their importance to modern Europe and Britain. Another exception is the cannibalism of the Orcs.
 
patrick canidae
Posts: 74
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Middle-earth_food_and_drink

If I have to cut trees to make a damn fort, I'm growing 'shrooms on the dark wet side and hollowing out some bee hives on the sunny dry side. Probably build it right around a nice sized chestnut tree so I can make flour for all those hard tack like things described above without leaving my fort. More than likely going to trellis up some thorny berry canes in between the bees and shrooms.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9690
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I bet LARPers would like some kind of labyrinth or maze (maize maze).
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been thinking that Paul's freaky cheap junk wood pole fence like thing would make building a ring fort much easier, and it's not like you have to stop an invasion anymore right?!?

Patrick, you crack me up!
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just got a message from one of the larpers who is a greenhouse worker and horticulturalist he said quote " I am all over this and expect a lengthy message after dinner!

Hahaha, good times!
 
Neil Layton
pollinator
Posts: 632
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
106
bee books forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One of the things that really stood out in one of the films was a stinking great pumpkin. This was presumably brought by the Elves from the Undying Lands.*

Sam Gamgee makes reference to potatoes (in fact, come to think of it there are other references to potatoes) which must have come from the same place.

It follows that Elves must have potatoes and pumpkin in order for Hobbits to have obtained these plants from them.

Hobbits, of course, have a thing for mushrooms.

* Judging by the maps and lore, the "equivalent" of North America on our Earth.
 
D. Logan
gardener
Posts: 581
Location: Soutwest Ohio
98
books food preservation forest garden rabbit tiny house
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think some of it would be hard to recreate effectively. Lembas bread comes to mind immediately. As I recall, the world of middle earth abounded with vague descriptions of grand meals. References that sometimes go against our thinking of what was there (elves eating meat for example). I found a couple of resources that may lend some minor insights, but I strongly suspect that a good deal of what you are going to be using has to be figured through leaps of logic. First, the links:

Elven Diet Discussion
Middle Earth Food and Drink

Here are my thoughts on some of the most prominent races. These are mostly generic overviews rather than specific food items.
Elves:
While some are noted for being fairly staunch vegan/vegetarian, others were clearly meat eaters who enjoyed hunting. I think the keys to elves are that their food is bound to be sustainable and seasonal. Hunting would be based on times of abundance and fruits/nuts would play heavily into their diets. They did not seem to garden that I recall, so presumably they had massive food forests. Large cities were maintained through simple forage. That could only happen with a well-maintained food forest. Domesticated animals weren't needed in much the way native Americans weren't bothering to domesticated bison. They take only what they need and leave the rest to nature. If they take something, they do something to replace it. They try to strike a balance much as with permaculture.

Dwarves:
Dwarven diets, when referenced, seem to involve a lot of things they would have had to trade for. Since much of their focus was on the building of wealth through mining, it stands to reason that their diets would be a blend of local (mountainside) produce, fungi, root veggies, storage veggies and traded items. Meats were probably heavy on the pork side since pigs produce so rapidly and heavily that they would be in abundance for the lowest price (dwarves are said to be very reluctant to give up their wealth). Again, seasonal is likely to play a strong hand since prices are lowest when seasonal. Also, I believe that drying of foods and baking of foods into a preserved form (fruitcakes, etc) would be a strong candidate. Assuming milk was obtainable, cheese is the perfect choice for a cave-dwelling society as well.

Hobbits:
English foods of luxury are almost certainly where to look for inspiration here. Hobbits seemed to enjoy the finest aspects of life and relished foods above all. They were a farmer society, so I suspect their meals were heavy on vegetables, but meat was held in high regard. This is the sort of group to really appreciate a well-aged ham or delicately cured product. Since they seemed to require a lot of calories to function, look for heavy hitters like potatoes to make up a large bulk of their diet. Drinking was a strong practice among all the Tolkien races, but it was probably a requirement for Hobbits to stay healthy. Given the number of calories their little bodies burned through, the calorie-dense grain alcohols would play strong roles in every meal. This is reflected in the writing.

Orcs:
Orcs seemed to mostly hunt and scavenge. Meat is, of course, their favored meal, but they also seem to reference eating other things in 'lean' times. I strongly suspect that they favored root vegetables and mushrooms in those moments. Mushrooms have the distinction of being acceptable meat substitutes and also grow on dying things, which would be a common situation where orcs are found. Root veggies tend to be heavy and filling, so are a good choice.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Andrew Tuttle : heres a start ! link below !



For the crafts ! Big AL
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Larp isn't just based on the hobbit series, there is so much more to it!

It actually grew out of dungeons and dragons and the likes....

 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ok so I have started getting some replies, they are right in line with what D. Logan said

So initial look at a permiculture type setup for a fantasy setting sets up a few challenges. Elves are going to be easiest. Leafy vegetables, fruits, tomatoes. Basically standard garden fair they tend to live and eat eloquently and lavishly. Wine is an important part of their culture so grapes, strawberries, anything you can ferment into a tasty wine. Honey would also be important. They would want sweets and honey would be the most ready source for it so hives are always a welcome addition.


Orcs tend to be scavengers mostly hunting, gathering, or pillaging. For an idea a food forest would be ideal for an orc setup. The issue with them is they are mostly going to eat what they can steal so I wouldn't quite worry about them for the project.

Dwarves (my favorite) are mostly subterranean so mushroom logs would be ideal. Hearty root vegetables are always good too. What surface farming they do would need to include barley and hops. Beer is incredibly important to dwarven culture. I would also go with hives for mead as well or even corn for whiskey. Most of their farming however is going to take place in alpine regions so anything that is going to survive on a mountain side. Now dwarves are probabvly the best race to focus on for permaculture as they actually tend to be practical where as elves just kinda use things irresponsibly.

Also definitely have to focus on herbs and edible flowers for the elves.
Hope that helps. These are just my general opinions based off of standard tropes in the genre.




I'll add as I get them....
 
Neil Layton
pollinator
Posts: 632
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
106
bee books forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Neil Layton wrote:One of the things that really stood out in one of the films was a stinking great pumpkin. This was presumably brought by the Elves from the Undying Lands.*

Sam Gamgee makes reference to potatoes (in fact, come to think of it there are other references to potatoes) which must have come from the same place.

It follows that Elves must have potatoes and pumpkin in order for Hobbits to have obtained these plants from them.

Hobbits, of course, have a thing for mushrooms.

* Judging by the maps and lore, the "equivalent" of North America on our Earth.


On due consideration, I may be wrong about these. It's known that pipe weed ("a strain of the herb nicotiana" (LOTR Prologue)) came from Numenor, and other strains of this plant are known among the Men of Gondor. If other plants found in North America in our world also came from Numenor, then Hobbits may have obtained potatoes and pumpkins from Men, perhaps through Tal-Aldarion the Mariner, or indirectly from Gondor (which seems less likely). Alternatively the Eldar, returning from Numenor via the Grey Havens and The Shire, may have left specimens there. They may also have obtained tomatoes (also known in Gondor (ROTK - film version).

Either way, you have cause for suggesting that Elves have potatoes and pumpkin, as would Men. No self-respecting Elf would have allowed a Dwarf anywhere near these plants.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 193
Location: New Hampshire
12
bee chicken food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I used to Larp at boy scout camps in NJ decades ago. https://www.facebook.com/LARPatLAIRE/timeline

Here are my ramblings of what we loved or would have loved to have at various event sites. Designing the space so it can be rented out for weddings or used for a Ren Faire will help make the place more functional.

Larping is not just LOTR based. There are quite a few different themed ones around including different time periods. Vampire, Steampunk, and other genre Larps often use the same locations on different weekends. Most Larps run one weekend a month that I am familiar with.

Most Larpers tend to cook meals that work well in crock pots or slowed cooked in dutch ovens under coals. Meals are often prepared in game while in character.
I would go with lots of plants that people could add to meals or snack on. Having food to snack on would be huge. Running around in the woods in armor will make you hungry fast.
Have plenty sources of drinkable water. Dehydration is an issue particularly with new players.

A kitchen garden with perennial herbs by the main buildings set up in a medieval style would go over well.

A root cellar or 2 would be awesome for storing food in coolers. It would reduce the need for ice most of the year, keep things form freezing in the winter and hide the modern coolers.

Buildings. This is why many larps take place at Boy Scout Camps. Wood cabins usually heated by wood stoves and giant fireplaces.
There are lots of permie techniques that can be used to improve the buildings. Places for people to do their craft and halls for various guilds and factions would also be a great addition.

Use hedge rows to form causeways, outdoor rooms , create paths, mazes and surrounded clearings will make it easier for the writers to create modules and adventures.
Plant them with lots of edibles since everyone is always hungry at these things. Have locations with dense woods, some meadows, campsites for tents, roads for armies to travel on and courtyards for drama and intrigue.

Design a formal space for ceremonies and other special occasions. Many larps have multi year story arcs and often need a grand space.

They will also need a pasture for epic battles. Ideally it should be easy to wander around in while beating each other with fake weapons. Many injures come from tripping and falling during battles.
Have plenty of parking and outhouses w/wash stations. We used to have 150 to 400 people attend a full weekend once a month.

Plant common and unusual plants. I have seen a rare orchid that popped in in the woods used as a plot device at one event. A giant battle around the orchid was fought to protect it.
The orchid survived the battle and the non evil side one the day. Larping groups are not the SCA so they have a lot of wiggle room in what you can plant.

Larpers would love lots of berry bushes, nut that are easy to crack, cooking herbs, flowers, perennials, and common stuff. Many groups have some sort of alchemists and sorcerers that need "ingredients" for spells and potions.
Give them uncommon things they can eat and they will find a way to use them.

Keep in mind the NPCs (Non Player Characters) will need space to store props, costumes, and a good place to wash up. They tend to play many rolls during an event and the people running the event will need someplace for logistics

Keep in mind they events often run 24/7 with attacks happening at night. Make things like ponds, cliffs, and thorny plants easy to steer clear of at night.

Good luck and keep us posted on the project.



 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1769
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
193
forest garden trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Andrew Tuttle wrote:I am currently compiling a list of foods eaten by Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs to be incorporated into our design.


Working from memory, orcs eat hobbits -- or they at least joke about doing so with their hobbit captives. They also make jerked meat of dubious origin; Frodo and Sam picked some up when they were just walking into Mordor, as one simply does not.

Elves eat many wonderful things not well described. A sort of magical traveling bread wrapped in leaves comes to mind.

Dwarves appear to eat almost all of the same things that men and hobbits eat; they certainly made themselves at home in Bilbo's larder. Their travel food is a hard bread or cracker they call "cram". I seem to recall that Beorn fed them (and Bilbo) milk and honey and bread.

None of this is very helpful I suspect. But without having the books at hand, it's the best I can do.
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Posts: 1228
Location: Pacific Northwest
131
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I’ve never LARPed, but I have spent a large potion of my life reading fantasy novels and playing fantasy video games. This topic really sparked my imagination, and I had a lot of fun pondering over it today while I put my toddler to sleep, lol! I think Kate Muller has a lot of great suggestions, and I tried to incorporate a bunch of them in here.

I think permaculture and LARPing could go very well together, and you could actually make a pretty successful permaculture farm, while also having it double as a LARPing site. I think a good way to think about making it, is to create as many diverse areas in the landcape as possible (ooooh, “edges”!), so as to foster different stories and parts of stories. Try to, especially, feature common elements that occur in fantasy. Here’s some of my ideas, based on my area….which is not far at all from Monroe, lol!

Farmhouse/Cabin/Homestead: Most fantasy stories have some sort of cabin in the woods/original homestead. Inside, there could be herbs drying from the rafters, some cots, a small table, a woodstove, perhaps a loft for additional sleeping. Outside, there would be a nice hand-drawn well, a woodstove, a herb spiral (for all those herbs to dry and hang from the rafters), a cob oven, perhaps a hewn table or just a circle of stumps for people to sit on, a typical vegetable garden (great for appearance) surrounded by a wattle fence, an orchard (apples, pears, plums, cherries with edibles surrounding them, like strawberries and garlic), some ducks and/or chickens, even a bee hive, etc. You could even have grapes growing up the cabin walls. This would be your permaculture zones 1 and 2.

Elfland/Fairyland/Peaceful Steam: Here’s your happy idyllic forest area, complete with lots of edibles that will look pretty and take over. If you’re doing this here in the northwest, you don’t have to change much from a normal woodland that has a stream running through it. Lots of rotting stumps with moss, etc. For structures, have a treefort, or at least a platform up in the trees that has a ladder to climb to. This can be the elf’s home, or a place for an archer to stand, etc. As for food, have the red huckleberry growing out of stumps, service berries, wild ginger, violets, Oregon grape, salal, bunchberries, wild strawberries, currents, gooseberries, etc. Also, sorrel and hostas and watercress for the veggies to munch on. These would boarder a rough path that leads along the stream and by the fort. You could even clear a pretty little glade for them to build a campfire, hold gatherings, pitch tents, etc. That glade, depending on the amount of light, could have some pawpaws and kiwis to add to the “exotic” look. This would be zone 3.

Grassland/Pasture/Battle Area: This is a largely “grassy” area, perhaps with that awesome stickfort that Chadwick mentioned. That fort could also double as a pen for the sheep you could graze on the pasture. Or there could be structure (looking cage like) for the sheep to sleep in there. It could also double as a "jail" when the sheep are out to pasture. The fort could also hold another ring of stumps for chairs and a place to have a campfire. The sheep make it productive permaculturally and add medieval ambiance. You could plant a bunch of forage plants for the sheep and pollinator plants for the bees. You could even have an area full of camas plants. This would probably be zone 4.

Scary Woods: Dense forest with lots of pokey things, like salmonberry (speaking of salmonberry, you could pretty easily make an edible, perennial maze with those) and blackberry. You could introduce (or not remove) the primeval looking Devil’s Club. Great place for terrible creatures to jump out and get you. Nettle would also be good here. Not really harmful, it’s useful, and it adds to the experience of being in one horrible forest. For the darkest/scariest areas, plant/leave a bunch of firs or hemlocks or cedars that are close to each other. They will make a very dark “spooky” understory. Lots of ferns here would be good. It doesn’t need to be a large area to imagine your lost in a horrible, eternal forest. The dark, overgrown woods would be your zone 5, while the maze would be more like zone 3.

Other areas you could build in pretty easily would be a hobbit home (could be a small Wofati that doubles as the chicken or duck house). Another one could be a rocky outcropping with big boulders for enemies to hide behind (those glacier erratic are easy to find here!). That rocky outcropping could also house some edibles that like drier/warmer/sunnier areas. Maybe some aloe?

You could also make a pond area, with cattails and arrowhead (both edible and native), with some sunfish or other edible native fish. Include a rowboat and fishing pole, for all those times adventurers have to travel across water to get where they’re going. This could be connected to the stream, too.

I hope that gives you some ideas! Thanks for the thought exercise—I really enjoyed it!
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Posts: 1228
Location: Pacific Northwest
131
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oooh, I just re-read Kate's post, and noticed the need for a "formal" area! Here you could make a ground of stone or moss (or other cround cover that can take a lot of trampling and will stay short), surrounded by "walls" that are arbors holding grapes and hardy kiwis and passion fruit. Once again, round of wood could be used as chairs, or carved into prettier/fancier chairs. Have a bunch of solar lights strung above the arbor for "magical" lighting and give the illusion of a ceiling. Also, add some secure places to place torches. You could carve a wooden, or arrange boulders to form a "throne" and off to the side you could even have some stumps supporting a rock slab as an "altar" if the story line requires such. Being able to change the lighting from solar to torchlight could transform this area from a dungeon/vampire lair to a fairy court.

I also just realized another benefit to having livestock on your LARPer paradise, you could allow--for a hefty additional fee--for them to harvest a sheep or duck to roast on their spit. As they are your livestock, you would probably want to dress up (as a medieval farmer) and monitor/guide their butchering to make sure it's humane. But, I would have to assume that there are a few groups that would really love to experience that part of role-play, and would pay a large sum for that experience, and for that level of organic food. I wouldn't think there would be too many that would be willing to fork out that money, or even want that experience, so you wouldn't have to worry about your flock or herd diminishing too quickly, but the few that do might make it really worthwhile monetarily...
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9690
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really like a lot of these suggestions. My sister is/was developing a LARP camp on our place (on hiatus the past year due to serious health problems) and I wish we could implement some of these ideas! But with no budget to work with, it's difficult. I take it "sky's the limit" on the budget for this design project?
 
Chadwick Holmes
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The sky is indeed the limit!

My group come with 50-100 folks depending and some come from states away, 24/7 is the fact, I don't think they sleep!

It's a fantasy game, so requires a fantasy budget!!!
 
Sharla Kew
gardener
Posts: 75
Location: Montana
53
greening the desert solar transportation
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It'd be a lot of fun to come up with a Miruvor recipe! Stuff is strong, though.

Trolls have been known to eat mutton. And also people, though that might be more difficult to add to the menu.
 
Robert Gearhardt
Posts: 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Postlng to follow. Depending where this is I would interesting in helping.


 
Rick Valley
Posts: 101
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would think that if there isn't a good willow osiery available nearby you would want to plant one, because baskets were bloody major technology. And live wattle walls too. The ditching of a ring fort was omitted in one model and exaggerated in steepness in another; with live wattle a nearly vertical bank is possible. Hedgerows (of mainly edible and medicinal species) would be a fine way to create no-go barriers while adding safe zones for the wildlife and edibles for all. Likewise, living structures (and mind you, I've almost never seen one done well) could add a lot to the scene. I learned how to do this when I was a kid (in the 50's and early 60's) I am in the area 2-3 times a year and could be persuaded to visit. Y'all could use the help of a tool nerd and a blacksmith (I count among the former but not the latter) because all this work needs the proper tools, which you can't bloody get at Home Despot. Certainly groups that came around planting times (read wet winter weather) could help in this.
 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
49
food preservation forest garden woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The plant that I remember most from LOTR is "Kingsfoil," which was used multiple times for healing. As far as I can find there is no real "Kingsfoil" but there are many possible parallels in the culinary herb world: basil, mint and thyme being some of the most likely candidates.
-Maybe it could be grown for healing spells?

I also specifically remember mention of rutabagas being grown in a Hobbiton field. (I read the books pretty recently).

I'd bet that Beorn (bear man from The Hobbit) ate a bunch of honey!

Finding a species of tree that's completely white like the one in Minis Tirith might be appropriate. Aspen has white bark and you can supposedly eat the young catkins plus white powder from the bark makes a decent sunblock.

Where are the Entwives when ya need 'em? They could tell us a thing or two about gardening in Middle Earth!
 
Darren Cook
Posts: 5
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Of course don't neglect Amazon as a source for all your cookbook needs (maybe not for orcs but elves and dwarves, likely):
The Shire Cookbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692472258/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_yuhLwbDGC49J8
The H0BBIT Cookbook https://www.amazon.com/dp/1494431726/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_qvhLwbFT2BJK9
An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery by Chris-Rachael Oseland http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X944TFG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_udp_awd_IvhLwb65NMW1F
The Medieval Cookbook: Revised Edition https://www.amazon.com/dp/1606061097/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_6ziLwbA8052Y9
The Official Narnia Cookbook: Food from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis by Douglas Gresham et al. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008LV1UZE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_udp_awd_E-jLwbSH9QAA0
Etc...
 
mongo silverwolf
Posts: 17
Location: Oklahoma usa
1
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
we built a medieval village on a piece of property in central ok for use with the s.c.a{sca.org}we have a viking encampment,English styled guard house and roman styled bath houses.we plant wheat and let it go to seed each time to give us ground cover that allso helps foil any spring fires that are rampant around here.as far as foods go,potato's......every one loves them....You can also find dungeon and dragons,character manuals to help with ideas .in truth though most people i know who larp only use ''pretend'' foods for there personas they generally make a dish and call it some thing else.pita bread=lambus,bread,in truth it would be closer to pimbican .
 
matt hogan
Posts: 71
Location: Tennesse, an hour west of Nashville, zone 7
2
chicken hunting
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey, I'm not a LOTR ner... no, wait. That tracks.

Hobbits: "the brewing of ales"; "the smoking of pipeweed"; potatoes "the Gaffer's delight and rare ballast on an empty stomach"; Bilbo had cold chicken and pickles in his larder (pickles would have been fermented); meat (Bilbo mentions it comes from the butcher already cut)

Dwarves: "red meat on the bone"

Of note would be trolls, who like their meat cooked but are afraid of fire. You could have a fire pit with very long skewers for them.
 
Rua Lupa
Posts: 13
Location: Great Whitstone Isle of the Lake Seas
1
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
"Im currently attending alderleaf wilderness college in Monroe WA. Part of the curriculum is Permaculture. For our design project my group has been given the task of creating a "Larpers paradise" permaculture farm. I am currently compiling a list of foods eaten by Elves, Dwarves, and Orcs to be incorporated into our design. Im not a huge Tolkien buff and finding info online about this topic has been difficult. No this is not a joke. Any help would be greatly appreciated."


Andrew Tuttle, are you at all familiar with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)? If the focus is on a medieval timescape, then this is the group you should be talking to when it comes to what was eaten and what structures were available. For where you are, the kindgom of An Tir's facebook page would be one place to start. https://www.facebook.com/KingdomofAnTirSCA/?fref=ts

With that knowledge of food and structures, all that is left is basic permaculture principals - water harvesting earthworks, perennial in zone vegetation within a forest system (including the food types of that timescape), access, then add the related structures into the design.

So in summary the steps would be:
Water harvesting earth works Working with the landscape you've got
The water infrastructure could reveal different elements that can be further enhanced with the theme.

Access Road and trail infrastructure to public roads - could even have a water access point.
Working with your water harvesting design, and

Structures Building locations - Each of the 'races' being placed where the landscape reveals their theme the most.

Human type Structures
Main Hall would ideally be not far from public access (can still have actives in foul weather), and village structures around that, being themed on historical human buildings and crops (SCA is ideal for this component).

Elvish type structures
If classical then underground structures - likely expected to look like earth mounds, Norse Halls and homes are a good source for such buildings.
If Tolkien then tree houses. Either way in a different area that is accessed by trail and forested - ideally with exotic looking vegetation and very diverse.

Dwarvish type structures
More rocky and underground (likely expected to be more cave like so either man made, possibly with concrete, or hollowed out bedrock). Otherwise having stone mason buildings. Having a rock garden landscape makes sense for the theme. Again in a different area that is accessed by trail, a rock outcrop, cliff or in view of or on a mountain would be ideal.

Orc type structures
Could be more akin to a Roman fort to give impression of invading Orc forces - placed in open area for large scale battles. Or be their village, looking more rough versions of tree houses and cave homes - placed in a dark and sinister forestscape (thick vegetation, lots of canopy) - ideally a mix of rock outcrops or erratics (large boulders on landscape), and swamp if possible.


All structures working with or around the water infrastructure.


Hopefully this helps.

Ex Officio Terrae
 
matt hogan
Posts: 71
Location: Tennesse, an hour west of Nashville, zone 7
2
chicken hunting
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I forgot to mention that the orcs (and others) in Mordor were fed by vast fields in the South, worked by slaves. I picture this as monocultural, soil-depleting agriculture, which is, of course, not permaculture, neither earth care nor people care. But maybe you could think of a way to represent it without doing it. Perhaps if you walk down a dark path, there's a mural.
 
Nicole Alderman
pollinator
Posts: 1228
Location: Pacific Northwest
131
duck forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another great resource for human/hobbit food in fantasy role-play would be Camlann Medieval Villagedown in Carnation. Humans and hobbits are generally depicted as eating generic medieval food. Camlann is a whole little village set up in the year 1376 in England, and is as historically accurate as possible. It's a really neat place, and can definitely help you see the medieval vibe in action (they are open many different days during the year, and also by reservation).

They also have a really nice cookbook full of recipes from 14th and 15th Century England: http://camlann.org/scribes.htm



I actually have the book, and looking through, the majority of recipes call for fennel, leeks, cabbage, onion, turnips, and almonds (they would make milk from the almonds to add to soups and porridges, as well as use them whole and slivered. A LOT of the recipes call for almonds!). Some ingreseients that were mentioned less, are squash, paresly, pine nuts, sage, thyme, rosemary, peas, fava beans, borage, random "greens," and rose petals.

Fruit, like plums, currents, grapes, strawberries, quince, figs, pears, cherries, mullberries, and apples were also frequently added to "savory" meals. As cider was a mainstay of their diets, having a big orchard of apples (as well as quince and the other fruits), would likely be a good idea.

As for elves, I always pictured them eating a lot of wild fruit and greens, such as the fruits, berries and veggies I mentioned in my "Forest" section earlier. I think growing some pawpaws (as they grow alright in shade and look "exotic") would also be a good idea.

I hope that helps!

I love seeing all the neat ideas in this thread!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9690
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
176
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, I also love this thread! I'm a nerd
 
Ty Morrison
Posts: 173
Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
15
chicken goat solar trees urban wofati
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The Ring Fort is a go!
There has to be an online farm game we could usurp and add our expanded cast of characters too?
 
Rua Lupa
Posts: 13
Location: Great Whitstone Isle of the Lake Seas
1
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just came across this that answers the food question directly - https://www.facebook.com/Medieval.Ireland/photos/a.194168750626927.44161.176930512350751/1034801276563666/?type=3&theater

Direct quote:
Food and diet - in the early medieval period (a.d. 400-1200), historical and archaeological evidence indicates that bread and milk were the basic foodstuffs consumed and that these were supplemented for proteins, minerals and flavoring by meat, vegetables, and fruit. Early Irish laws indicate that the range of cereals grown and eaten included oats, barley, wheat, and rye, used for making bread, porridges, cakes, and beer. Different grains were accorded different status, and according to early Irish laws (typically seventh to eighth century a.d.) wheaten bread was a high-status food. There is abundant archaeological evidence for drying of cereal grain in corn-drying kilns and the grinding of grain in both domestic rotary querns and horizontal mills. Vegetables for soups were grown in small gardens around the dwelling, and included cainnenn (probably onions), celery, and possibly parsnips or carrots, peas, beans and kale. Wild garlic and herbs may also have been gathered in the woods, along with apples (which were grown in orchards), wild berries, and nuts.

Between the seventh and the tenth century a.d. (and after), cattle were primarily kept to provide milk and all its products: cream, butter, curds, and cheeses, as well as thickened, soured, and skimmed milk drinks, all referred to in old Irish as banbfd (white foods). As argued by McCormick, faunal analyses of cattle bones from the large middens found on early medieval crannogs such as Moynagh Lough and Lagore (Co. Meath) and Sroove (Co. Sligo) also indicate that cattle herds were carefully managed for dairying. Rennet from calves and sheep was used in making cheese, while butter was clearly made in large amounts. Wooden buckets, tubs, and churns recovered from early medieval Crannogs also indicate the preparation and storage of such produce, while tubs of "bog butter" may have been placed in bogs for preservation.

However, meat was also important and evidently eaten by both rich and poor (to judge from the ubiquitous amounts of animal bone found on settlement sites). There is a strong sense, though, that meat was more commonly consumed by the prosperous members of society. Beef was eaten in large amounts, typically being from the unwanted, slaughtered male calves and aged milch cows. Pigs were the source of fresh pork and salt bacon, sausages, and black puddings. Sheep were kept for mutton, lamb meat, and milk. Wild animals that were hunted and trapped (mostly for sport by the nobility) included deer, wild boar, and badger. It is also evident that Ireland’s relatively restricted range of freshwater fish species (e.g, salmon, trout, and eels) were caught in fish weirs. In coastal regions, shellfish (limpets, periwinkles, oysters, mussels, cockles, and scallops) were gathered on rocky foreshores, for both food and industrial purposes. The shells were frequently discarded in large middens, perhaps adjacent to unenclosed coastal settlements. Seals and wildfowl may have been occasionally hunted, while stranded porpoises and whales may also have been used when the opportunity arose. Edible seaweeds, such as dulse, were also gathered for food. Some potential foods were regarded as taboo. Therefore, carrion and dog were avoided, while the church banned the eating of horse meat (although there is archaeological evidence for its occasional consumption).

The feast (fled) was an important institution in early Irish society, being held, for example, during seasonal festivals or to commemorate a royal inauguration. At an early medieval feast, the distribution of different cuts of meat was probably made on the basis of social rank (McCormick 2002). Early Irish historical sources (e.g., laws, wisdom texts, narrative literature) also suggest that social ranking had a profound influence on the foods that people generally ate, with the nobility eating more meats, honey, onions, and wheat. Wine was also imported by Gaulish and Frankish traders, while more exotic spices and condiments may also have been brought into the island in glass and pottery vessels. If the early Irish diet was balanced and healthy, there were also periods of famine and hunger (particularly at stages in the sixth and seventh centuries), and the occasional long winters would have led to food supplies running out.

From an article by Aidan O’Sullivan in Medieval Ireland: An Encyclopaedia edited by Seán Duffy


Note that any reference to Corn isn't referring to maize but to any ground up cereal.
 
Rick Valley
Posts: 101
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Fruit....
Roses for hips *** Medlars *** Apples- there are many ancient varieties available, and cider varieties are in great availability now *** ditto for perry (cider) pears *** pine nuts: an ancient permie amigo has now got Italian Stone Pine fruiting SE of Portland *** Rowan (a Sorbus) would be very important to Elves I should think *** Other natives that would be very attractive to the more feral sorts would be Service Berry, Aronia, Choke Cherry, Klamath Plum, Oregon Grape, Oregon Myrtle/California Bay (the roasted nuts)and Western Crab. Hybrids of W. Crab Apple with the bio-imperialist Euro Apple are pretty fine cider apples too. Chestnuts are badass forest trees, casting shade that can make a fairly open understory (makes a nice setting) and make a fine coppice wood too. The fresh logs can be split for all sorts of standard medieval construction. Same goes for black locust which is even more rot resistant and harder and heavier. And has a great honey bloom for the mead makers. (if anyone sends me an address label and some stamps I'll send them some seed from named Hungarian cultivars of Black Locust chosen for timber and nectar production) Dogwoods (Cornus) would be pretty of course, and nice for the birds but some are good for us too (C. kousa and C. mas) and all are good for spits, rake tines and similar uses.
 
Maja Gustavsson
Posts: 12
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here's a fun map for you:


and


Did you know that Tolkiens stories actually occurred during an imaginary era of pre-historic Europe? T'is the truth:

"I am historically minded. Middle-earth is not an imaginary world. The name is the modern form (appearing in the 13th century and still in use) of midden-erd > middel-erd, an ancient name for the oikoumenē, the abiding place of Men, the objectively real world, in use specifically opposed to imaginary worlds (as Fairyland) or unseen worlds (as Heaven or Hell). The theatre of my tale is this earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is imaginary. The essentials of that abiding place are all there (at any rate for inhabitants of N.W. Europe), so naturally it feels familiar, even if a little glorified by the enchantment of distance in time." - Tolkien

A more accurate representation of the time before the flooding of Doggerland, for comparison:


Knowing this, if you want to stick to a LOTR setting, simply apply growing zones and find plants that would be native to the different parts of Europe and/or altitudes as the main settings of your LARP. If you want a setting that takes place in the Shire, look to rural England. For Rohan or Gondor, the Mediterranean and its plants would be your best fit, but also remember that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings takes place approximately 4.000 BC according to our time, and it is theorized that Europe was a somewhat colder place back then, despite it being well past the last Ice Age. If you want to find plants that would fit the parts that disappeared under the sea... well, your guess is as good as mine there. But I would probably go for UK or Scandinavian plants.

EDIT: We also know that the elves had some trade with Numenor in the West (most likely, this is a reference to America) and would have a greater number of 'Numenor' plants and wares, such as the already mentioned tobacco and potatoes. This is stuff that they would've traded with other races, but I imagine that dwarves in particular would not grow these things to the extent that other races would. Consider looking at indigenous European root veggies, such as the black salsify, carrots and stuff like polypod root as staples rather than potatoes.

In reference to the person who said "no spices", that's quite incorrect, and only really apply to a medieval setting. The earliest known archaeological excavation of spices used in Europe, is a 6.000 year old fish soup. It was spiced with garlic mustard seeds, in case you're curious.
 
Maja Gustavsson
Posts: 12
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One more thing. Consider growing European utility plants for fiber, such as linen, industrial hemp (if you can get the permit for it - the rules are very strict in some areas because it is a lookalike of marijuana, but the hemp plant is an AWESOME fiber plant!) and nettle.
 
Maja Gustavsson
Posts: 12
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
And, here's an article of the possible real-life inspirations for Kingsfoil, since I'm a nerd and don't have the common sense to go to sleep already: http://middleearthnews.com/2014/02/18/is-athelas-based-on-real-life-plant/
 
Andrew Tuttle
Posts: 20
1
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am blown away by the volume or responses i have received. Thank you all so much. I have some great recourses here. To the people who posted sounding upset that i dont know Larping originated from the game Dungeons and Dragons and not LOTR, that is what our client requested was a LOTR themed arena/farm.
 
Rick Valley
Posts: 101
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ah yes- choosing plants. Our own possibilities are shifting rapidly just now. And knowing what was where in 900 BC has little to do with either what was there in 800,000 BC (like the occupation level at the Boxgrove site or what will be in 50 years, which I think will be rather different than it is presently. I believe there are some good bits of information on what plants were around on Doggerland (at least woody ones, and at least adjacent to Doggerland, but I know wood has been recovered, along with artifacts and bones, from the bottom of the North Sea. For instance, I am having better success near Corvallis with plants from the Nevada City area, than plants from the Portland area (natives, eh?) and I'm finding things from the Black Sea coasts are doing well around here too, now.
 
Evil is afoot. But this tiny ad is just an ad:
paul's latest kickstarter
https://permies.com/t/65247/permaculture-design/permaculture-design-alternative-technology-live
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!