The soil of Clairac

Clairac has the double advantage of benefiting from rich alluvial soil thanks to the Lot and its floods, but also from a horizon of slopes well exposed to the south. If we add generations of landowners who know how to get the most out of the land and water, seeds and transplants, feathered animals or hairs...

The legend (or popular wisdom...) gives Clairac the first transplants on plum trees to give birth to the plum d'ente, or the first systematic exploitation of tobacco, we must recognize that all (or almost!) can grow in the valley or on the heights.

In a document dated 1817, a Clairacais who “had property” made a statement of his farm income, feeling his last days coming. Jacques-Antoine de Lartigue, a former adviser at the court of the Aydes de Bordeaux, lived in Dimeuilh, in a property that still exists. The enumeration quickly makes us understand to what extent polyculture was characteristic of this confluence country.

The main source of income, its white and red wines, but also the “piquette” barrels; but also strawberries, cherries, apricots, plums (fresh and cooked), pears, apples, figs, grapes, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, olives, capers, artichokes, carrots, beans, peas, mougettes, vegetables, cabbage, onions, herbs , potatoes, pumpkins, acorns, roe, garlic, wheat, Spanish wheat, hay, fodder, hemp, pigs, poultry, eggs, cattle ... not to mention the dung (dovecotes!), and fagots, branches, lates and vimes. Only tobacco is missing from its list.

All this, and much more, the amateur will find it in Pierre Desfontaines' exceptional book published in 1932: Les Hommes et leurs travaux dans les pays de la Moyenne Garonne. This true illustrated bible, reprinted several times by the Quesseveur bookstore in Agen, is the essential reading for anyone who wants to know the resources of Clairac and the surrounding area.

And soon, our members will also be able to read various summary sheets on what made or still makes Clairac famous: tobacco (Clérac's tobacco was one of the most famous in the 18th century), vines, plums, strawberries and many other delicacies. And if the vine has disappeared, carried away by phylloxera, some elders may remember the nectar from the last bottles of “rotten wine”; some of them were uncorked in 1963 for the centenary of a Clairacaise, in her castle in Marith...