A good view of the chateauThe chateau is now the Maison Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, a privately run children's home and horticultural college. According to their website, "The house welcomes, trains and places young people from difficult family and social situations, and is also a school for social and professional success." From what I can work out, the college houses up to sixty 12-14 year olds and gives them the standard secondary education, with an emphasis on horticulture. It also provides professional training in horticulture and agriculture for more mature students.
A not so good view of the chateauEvery year the Maison holds an agricultural show and plant fair, usually on the Sunday of the weekend after Susan's annual conference - so we are Preuilly, but leaving to drive back to London. Next year we hope things will be different, and that not only will be able to visit the chateau and buy some plants, but that we will have the beginnings of a proper garden in which to plant them.
Verneuil not only has a very attractive chateau - it also the home of Coopérative Laitière de la Région Lochoise, where our local butter is made.
This butter is a perfect example of how localised some of the food production and retailing in France is - we can buy this butter in any of the supermarkets around us in the Touraine, but it isn't available at the SuperU at la Roche Posay, over the border in Vienne, only five minutes away.
Last year the cooperative won three medals at the Concours Général Agricole de Paris:
Sainte Maure de Touraine (gold medal) , semi-skimmed UHT (bronze medal), and Valençay (gold medal). I am interested that the one factory not only produces goat's milk and cow milk products, but it also produces 2 different AOC cheeses.