A week or so ago we came across these two deer in a field of agricultural mustard. In this case, we are told, the crop is intended as a green manure and will be ploughed in. Broadly speaking, the traditional crop rotation in the Touraine is to plant one third of the land with winter wheat in the autumn, to be harvested for bread flour early in the following summer; one third would be planted in the spring with animal feed, to be harvested in the late summer; and one third would be left fallow. I'm not sure how much the modern farms vary from these traditional practices in terms of the timing and speed of the rotations, but certainly crop rotation is taken very seriously as a means of controlling pests and diseases. Green manures are also clearly popular, and help particularly with erosion (many Tourangelle fields are sloping or undulating and therefore at risk of soil washing away).
Apparently deer are madly fond of canola and mustard flowers. This pair were wary, but unwilling to move on, even when we stopped the car to take photos out the window. They were perhaps 20m away, and continued to graze whilst keeping one eye on us. Although it is hunting season here, they were surprisingly unbothered by our presence. Who would have thought mustard flowers were worth risking your life for?