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Pastoral traditions in the Ariège Pyrenees

Because it’s a  mountainous region, in Ariège agriculture has always been practiced on a small scale. Cultivation exists only at a subsistence level in higher elevations, with crops such as maize and rape found in the plain and foothills. Cows and sheep are brought to the high mountains for summer grazing, as are herds of native Mérens horses, who spend half the year in total freedom. After decades of exodus, in recent years, younger people have settled in the mountain farmsteads to farm organically, raising pigs and chickens as well as goats for cheesemaking. Others cultivate the land using horses and mules for traction. You’ll find all their products in the farmers markets and local butchers’ shops.

Many thanks to these photographers

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From 2000 to the end of 2017 ariege.com was a site devoted to tourism in the department of Ariège. The small company that managed it closed on 31 December 2017 and 2018 will be a year of transition. Read more…