What to do in summer > Sports and leisure > The Educational Trails > Heritage Trails > Historical Path in Saint-Jean > Post 13. Raccards of Agyrle

Post 13. Raccards of Agyrle

It is worthwhile to go up to a place called the Agyrle to admire the silhouettes of two barns, elegantly poised on the slope. From close up one can see that the pilotis are still in good condition. These barns are under the protection of Valais Heritage. The raccard was used to store the fruit of the harvest. Rye and wheat were harvested with a sickle and bound into sheaves in fields near the Herdés.

Map of St-Jean

Before being stored inside the raccard, corn was dried on thelonguerines, wood pieces that horizontally define the drying gallery on the outside, which runs on one or two of the building’s sunny facades.

It is in winter that the farmers threshed with a scourge. The wheat was separated from the chaff with a van, a wicker tool.

The lighter chaff flies off and grain remains at the bottom. Thus rid of its shell, it is stored in adjacent lockers on the threshing floor which occupies the core of the building.

The grain was then transported in bags by mule or on a sled if the path to the Martinet mill was snowy.

The raccard which usually has a single entrance, was also used for beating beans. The arrival of the harvester diminished the role and use of the raccard. But it remains a beautiful building still looming proudly against the background of the valley.

 

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Our friends guide us through the village, to houses where they know all the stories, but they cannot cross the threshold anymore.