I’m writing a D&D campaign. The closest period of time in the real world that the setting of my story comes to is medieval Europe. (I don't know exactly where or when, but it doesn't matter since it isn't historical fiction.)
The campaign involves the player characters spending time in several small villages and towns inhabited by commoners. The common people are independent and are not owned by land or other people, like serfs were in medieval Europe. There is no slavery (in most places), and the people make their livings by acting as farmers, merchants, artisans, or business owners (e.g. innkeeper). In one particular region, most of the commoners are farmers, and each family (of 4–6 individuals) owns their own small farm. I’m wondering... how big (by acreage and volume) were such farms in the middle ages?
- How many acres of crops could a family be expected to maintain with the tools available at that time period? Is it different for orchards?
- For animal farms, how many animals could a single family realistically maintain, again when limited by the primitive tools available in that period?
- How many acres per animal were necessary to support each of the following animals?