While traveling through Tuscany, I encountered the same scene again and again: a single tree in the middle of a ploughed field, surrounded by waves of earth or rows of crops. I thought the farmers were environmentally conscious, preserving nature; leaving the tree to grow undisturbed. But as the locals explained, farmers did so to create a shadow, so as to have a break in middle of day, without walking all the way home. They could sit under the tree and relax in the cool shadow it would cast in the midday sun.
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