Saturday, 3 September 2011

Ploughing & Harvests

ready, steady....no drivers!
Today is Charnizay's 'Concours de Labours' [ploughing competition]. Every year a farmer 'donates' the use of a field and the farmers with their tractors gather to see who can plough the best furrow. Sadly no horse drawn ploughs take part as they did in competitions we saw in Limburg (NL). However, they do hold a lady's competition as well as a men's. We'll get a full report of the results the next issue of the 'Petit Charnizeen' our local newsletter.


"older" competitor





When we eventually found the right 'lieu-dit': St Michel; much had already happend and most folk were clustered round a central judge's tent aka refeshment stand for a pre-lunch chit-chat. 

off to lunch!

The tractors were all left standing proud next to their furrows which were neatly marked with numbers.   A few cars sped off in clouds of dust and then all of the remaining folk piled into an animal transporter to trundle back to Charnizay proper to have lunch in the chapiteau [marquee] which stands all summer next to the Airgronne. Ploughing resumed in the afternoon.

vendange, medieval style
The vendange [grape harvest] has started in the Touraine and although most of the AOC vineyards are to the north of us there is a small outpost of the AOC in Bossay sur Claise just to the south of us. Picking is quite early this year as the spring was so hot and sunny. We have thunderstorms forecast for today with possibly even hail which is not good news. Fingers crossed we don't get hail; just, if anything the downpour. Right now it is pretty warm, humid and claggy. 


Just to be on the safe side we harvested our peaches. The previous owners planted a small peach tree and it is still very young.


our peach harvest

Last summer it gave us 5 peaches, this year we have had a - comparatively- bumper crop. They ripen very late as the people who planted it weren't really very green fingered. They planted it  where it gets buffeted by the NE and NW winds which come over the ridge. Still it has established itself there and done us proud.


11 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
Alas, the end of summer draws near and with so much in the way of harvesting all around, there is no denying that the year is moving on. But, we feel, each season brings its own pleasures and rewards and there is always something to which one can look forward.

Your peaches look, and most likely taste, terrific.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - We both like Autumn and when the leaves start to colour and you get a sunny day it's super :-)

Now have to decide how we preserve our peaches...

Susan said...

I'm not sure the peaches are so late. If they are pĂȘches des vignes they should ripen at the same time as the grapes. It's been a good year for peaches - good if not bumper crop and no disease problems.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - we can only go on what Alex our neighbour told us previous owners planting the tree. Think our peach is same kind as hers. Hers is in a more sheltered position and on the south side:- the fruit ripened a couple of weeks ago. No idea if they're peches des vignes.

Craig said...

I'm very jealous of you having a peach tree in your garden. Do you think I could get away with one here?
Kidding!
They look wonderful and I best that they taste excellent.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Sounds like a good day out. Hmmm we have not got a peach tree......
Lots of black clouds and rumbling here today but only enough drizzle to upset the local Bric-a-Brac!!! Diane

Pollygarter said...

The peaches are delicious! I've been eating them for breakfast with cereal.

Niall & Antoinette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Niall & Antoinette said...

@Pauline - they are nice aren't they? The rest of the harvest is now resting gently in 'parfait' jars and getting quietly drunk. ;-)

the fly in the web said...

We had peches de vigne in the garden...they were smaller than the usual peach and had a red centre.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly in the web - we just don't know if ours are peches de vigne.
The fruits are small, white fleshed and like many varieties have just a hint of red at the centre right by the stone.