Billons

The Bresse area of Burgundy was once almost completely cultivated in billons; a sort of ridge and furrow system. The ridges were about a metre wide, separated by a ditch of around thirty centimetres. This was a particularly effective way of cultivating the heavy, wet, clay soil of the area, although it made working the land difficult; special narrow carts were used to fit onto the ridges.

When modern machinery was brought in, the system was abandoned, and although tractors and combine-harvesters make the work easier, the land is now prone to flooding in particularly wet seasons.




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