Every September one of the local farmers gives up a field to hold the Charnizay ploughing competition. Last month the weather was good and under a hazy sunny sky the furrows were drawn and judged. The 'concours', or competition, wasn't far from our house so we went and had a look.
All gathered round the refreshment tent before the off
Beginning to line up at their appointed markers
And .... thery're off!
Big brother and little brother
In fact, although it is very hard to see, in the smaller yellow wheeled tractor on the left [photo above] are two people; a local farmer Christoph Bardon and his 11yr old niece, Noémie. Though she needed his help to reach the pedals, she did the driving and drawing of the furrows. She's got talent as she won the competition and made the news in the local paper!
There were tractors of all ages and sizes
There were also 4 entries in the 'motoculteurs' category. Tilling with one of these looked to be hard work! They too were keenly overseen by friends and judges.
Judges with clipboards at the ready.
The day ended with a 'moules frites' dinner and the handing out of the prizes in the marquee down by the Aigronne.
When I spoke to Christoph recently - we buy pork from him - he told me that next year the concours will be held on one of his fields. The farmers all take it in turn as the competition isn't the kindest treatment for a field.