France: Vive Lamour

For centuries, the sunbaked southern French provinces known as the Midi eked out their living supplying the rest of France with table wines; when the grapes were poor, so were the farmers. But no more. Today, along with wine, growing shipments of melons, asparagus, peaches and strawberries flow from the Midi into Paris. Responsible for this profitable bounty is a new network of dams, canals and irrigation ditches running from Marseille westward almost to the Spanish border. Responsible for the irrigation network is a 59-year-old northern Frenchman with the incontestably Gallic name...

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