Cistercian horticulture

The Cistercian monastic order strove for the achievement of self-sufficiency. The gardening area and the orchard were created in the north-eastern part of the present Castle Garden and bordered by the river Rába that provided water for irrigation. The gardener’s cottage called the „Orange House” also stood here. The basic staple foods in the monks’ diet were bread and vegetables. All kinds of root vegetables and tuberous plants (various kinds of carrots, celery, onion, potato, horse radish) were grown in addition to the leaf vegetables (such as spinach, sorrel, cabbage, lettuce, etc.) and in the monastery’s kitchen dry leguminous plants (beans, peas, lentils) and various cereals (millet, buckwheat, barley groats, porridge) were often cooked. The consumption of dried and fresh vegetables provided a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. The monks arriving in Hungary with scions, vine-branches and sowing-seeds had introduced and established new species of plant in this country. In the orchards they grew apple, plum and pear trees yielding fruits in abundance. For conservation drying was used. In a green-house even lemon, orange and pineapple were grown for supplementing the basic diet. Grapes were grown on the southern and eastern slopes of the „Schlössl” lying in the area of present Austria, on the other side of river Rába. A light table-wine was made from these grapes.


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