February 2021 Newsletter

Routine Maintenance and Upkeep

The monthly link check is complete. I am back logged on adding new resources, I have a short list of some new tutorials and other entries I want to add. I also have my eye set on upgrading the tutorial section with a complete revamp, a project I’ve been meaning to get to since last year.

From Neep Manor

Hydration Article

February I released an article on hydration in medieval contexts. This is an incredibly important consideration, especially as we all prepare to go back to events (hopefully) after having an entire year off.

#TurnipPicks Monograph

I am confident I have everyone who is going to agree to participate, agreeing to participate. Which means I will spend March gathering the final authorizations, formatting, and developing captions. If I adhere to the current productions schedule, I may have the completed book out by April. The plan is still to release e-book copies at first, and use the sales of e-books to finance the printing of a softcover version.

The Art of the Sword Conference

It was my immense pleasure to help support and participate in the Art of the Sword Conference hosted by Matt, Executive Director of History Live North East. The Art of the Sword Conference was an international convention of speakers all relating to the aspects of medieval swords and swordsmanship which delight the medieval reenactor. For those who missed the actual conference, recordings of the event are available for viewing through the History Live North East website.

Digital Disaster

I keep a lot of my working files for my projects through The Turnip of Terror on a thumb drive, as I tend to migrate between computers when I want to do some work I cannot do on my phone. This includes tons of word documents and excel documents. As an example, the Merchant Roll right now just includes descriptions and images with a link to the online store… but in an Excel document I have that business’s information as it’s viewed on the site plus a bunch of meta-data such as the types of items it sells, price points, location, etc. One of my goals is to upgrade the site once the Patreon community grows large enough to support it and buy some database plug-ins, allowing those who use the site to not just find good merchants (or groups, or books, etc.) but be able to sort and filter and search based on specific metrics: IE if you wanted to find a merchant who sells 14th century hosen you should be able to sort and search through all the merchants and be able to read up on just those who sell the things you want from the times you want. Anyway, my file storage exceeded my thumb drive size, but this new one I bought to replace it is defective and keeps corrupting files… so I lost a lot of work. I’ve been able to recover some of them, but even those files have missing data, and many of my backups are out of date since I get in the groove with working off my thumb drive. So part of finishing this newsletter and just keeping TToT running correctly involved speed-rebuilding some of these files.

The Pilgrim Progress Challenge Year 2!

The Pilgrim Progress Challenge Emblem for the Medieval Reenactment and Living History Resource the Turnip of Terror

It is time to sign up for the second annual Pilgrim Progress Challenge! Last year’s was a resounding success, so good we brought it back. While we cannot physically walk together considering how far away we all are, and many of us can’t take a week off to walk it in one go, we can still walk to Canterbury together, in however many small doses we can handle.

Most important to remember, if you want a commemorative booklet you need to sign up with this form where we can get you registered and send out your tracking book. Making it to Canterbury gets you eligible for great prizes, and we have a photo contest as well!

News Bulletin

These are the articles and videos which I shared in February which I think are beneficial to the medieval living history community. To see them in real time, follow on Facebook.


How Two Medieval

Matt and I released two episodes for the month of February. No mini-episodes, but that likely has a lot to do with the Sword Conference, February is always so busy and it’s short to boot.

  • Episode 19 “Digital Groups” (01:05:55 in length) Ari and Matt discuss digital group activities and how forming online living history groups differ from creating in person ones. 
  • Episode 20 “Justifications” (00:54:44 in length) Ari and Matt discuss the various ways in which people use justifications to incorporate elements into their impressions and whether or not they are always the best way to go about making these decisions. This one has been very well received and I’m excited by how much discussion it has inspired! We have been encouraged to continue leading the path and keep on being good Sacred Cow Slayers.  

February Hall of Fame

A highlight of some of the most popular things on the Turnip Network. Do you have content you think is a candidate next month? Tag me on Facebook or use the hashtag #turnippicks on Instagram for a chance to be featured on the page, and if you make the top, a mention in the newsletter!


The nine #turnippicks photos posted in February and receiving the most likes (in order top left to right) @2makk_reenactment, @dudelherz, @_fenriza, @mitchbob93, @ed_1eye, @selfmade.knight, @conflictarchaeo, @_lfuthark, and @lady.malina. Check out these great Instagram accounts!

Facebook Fun

The top three most liked posts on Facebook in February were:

An article from Haaretz about the finding of royal fabrics in Timna from 3,000 years ago.

An article from the Daily Mail about a metal detectorist who finds a £2million centrepiece jewel of Henry VIII’s lost crown.

A Book Spotlight: of “The Livery Collar in Late Medieval England and Wales: Politics, Identity and Affinity by Matthew Ward.

A short video from the Internet Archives Blog of their process digitizing books.

Future Projects

Every month I release some sort of project for the community, be it a long form written article, an audio episode, or a video, or some blend of the above. The items below are the projects I have in various stages of completion, which are at a stage where they are candidates as the headlining topic for next month. Esquires and Knights of the household on Patreon have access to a monthly poll where they can choose which topic I will work on for the next month. If you want to cast your voice, become a Patron!

  • A “Behind the Metal” interview featuring Trevor Clemons of the Kansas City Sword Guild, focusing on his considerable expertise and success with creating a crossover HEMA and living history group.
  • I have a simple, slender belt from Lorifactor I could review. Anything I wear I could review. Do you want more product reviews?
  • More tent diagrams, from other companies or from more tent styles of the companies I already have worked on. Maybe re-do the hand drawn one in CAD like the new one is. These drawings are very time consuming though, and with how many size/shape variations exist among the preeminent manufacturers of medieval tents, it will take me years to work through them all (or sufficient support to work on the website full time.) Also, the dead computer doesn’t help.
  • I went on a mission to find fixes to a persistent wardrobe malfunction where my hosen would bunch up on my feet and bind with the rough leather of my boots when putting shoes on over my footed hosen. I received a list of possible solutions, some of which I have tried and some of which remain candidates for experimentation. An article on the subject would include trying and documenting my experiments with all the suggestions.
  • I am collecting old, dead tents to re-purpose their fabric for an “Archer Lean-To.” This project would be to benefit any group or encampment portrayal. The idea: unlike the Knight himself who would purchase a proper tent, the commoners who joined him on campaign might opt instead to take an old cast off tent which could be purchased for cheap or salvaged for free and use it to erect a shelter for themselves while on campaign. Hanging a rectangular swath of canvas, as a tarp, can allows a variety of options as a shelter. It could ornamented with cheap mattresses and other excess material culture to give the impression of three or four men (representing a few archers and camp servant in their absence) and provide a contrast in quality to my tent. I need to research, however, is if this is a speculative construction, a reenactorism I have seen others do without any primary documentation. Part of the project and the article would be doing said research.
  • Can you portray an Atheist or Godless medieval impression?
  • How to tie an arming point? (Video and/or print guide.)
  • How to use a fibula style brooch? (Video and/or print guide.)
  • Practical example against cutting corners, using tent stakes and hammers as a reference. (Video)
  • An article/video on medieval camping and comparing/contrasting slavishly accurate camping vs. modern reenactment “glamping.”
  • Knotwork / ropework guide, either as a single large video/article or in a series (knots, bends, splices, marlinespike skills, etc.)