Irrigation allowed farmers to produce fodder whose exceptional nutritional qualities are well-known and now protected by an Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), “Crau Hay”.
These same prairies are used as pasture for flocks that have spent the summer in the high mountain pastures.
The transhumance of sheep is an ancestral practice in Salon-de-Provence.
Back when transhumance was carried out on foot, the flocks stopped at the Fontaine Moussue (Mossy Fountain), a traditional stopover on the way to the Alps.
Today, pastoral culture is protected, enriched, and taught at Ecole du Merle.
Established at Domaine du Merle, an official centre of the Ministry of Agriculture, this 450-hectare estate is continually improving the specific characteristics of the “Arles Merino”.