Pat Shingleton: "The Salt of the Earth..."
Salt farming is dependent upon the weather and for French artisan farmers it's a labor of love. As noted in a previous column, the wind and the sun's heat create a high tide in Guerande, France; an area of marshy meadows, known as the "Cote Sauvage." Europeans have harvested salt from the earth in this place since the ninth century and salt farmers or paludiers use the same technique and tools to collect this caviar of salt. The collection process begins with a wooden gate that traps the sea water into the marsh. When the correct amount of water flows at the correct rate, a maze of clay walls advances a process of slow evaporation. After a month, the water seeps into shallow pools and salt appears. In tomorrow's column - harvesting salt.
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