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Spade cultivation
Rigs and fields
Forestry and other first ploughing
main image Lazy beds, Lochboisdale, South Uist
Lazy beds (Gaelic 'feannag') were made on uncultivated ground, by turning over turf from either side with a foot-plough (Gaelic 'cas chrom') or spade. This formed a pattern of alternate ridges and troughs.

Seed or potato tubers were lain on the ground, fertiliser added and the turf turned over on top to form a sandwich. Bere (a kind of barley) was grown in this way, but from the mid-18th century the technique was used mostly to grow potatoes.

The technique, which was once used throughout Scotland, dates back to at least the 16th century. It can still be seen in use in the north-west Highlands and the Hebrides. Elsewhere, residual traces can still be seen in the landscape.

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