Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Farm country

Agriculture is very important in France, and almost everywhere you go, family farms dot the landscape. From up on the mountain overlook, we could see dozens of farms. Most seemed to be set up for livestock. We could see many pastures being grazed by sheep and cows. One nearby town is known for raising turkeys for the end-of-year holidays and holds a national commercial market to sell them each December.

Hedgerows and oaks separate pastures and other agricultural lands in the Bourbonnais region.

The farm and pasture land is called le bocage. It's characterized by parcels of pasture or cultivated land surrounded by what the English call hedgerows, living "fences" of shrubs and trees. Hedgerows serve as windbreaks and physical/visual barriers. They also provide a habitat for wildlife that simple fences do not. Most of the larger trees you see in this photo are oaks. Many more are found in vast areas of forest that are maintained for wood products including firewood. Not far from here is La Forêt de Tronçais, which is particularly famous for supplying high quality oak for wine barrels.

5 comments:

  1. There is something about it (or many things about it) that at a glance tell you it's French countryside and not Spanish or American or English.

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  2. Gosh, I learn soooooo much about France, its buildings, landscapes, customs, people etc. etc. from both Ken and you. And always in an easy-to-read writing style. Thank you very much for that!

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  3. My mom thought that the fences needed to be kept cleaned out, but it is easy to see here why it's good for the environment to let them grow up. You still have to be careful that the livestock doesn't escape. Those oak barrels are important for wine and whiskey, non?

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  4. Ohhhhh, that is a beautiful view, with the winding rows of hedges. Lovely!

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  5. mitch, I agree.

    elgee, wow! We have educational value! Perhaps we can get a grant... ;)

    evelyn, they certainly are! And cognac and armagnac and calvados, too!

    judy, thanks!

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