A Porsche in an agrarian museum? Yes, once upon a time this German manufacturer of sports cars also made tractors. A couple of Porsche tractors have been lovingly restored and now rest here in the museum.
Next to the Porsche tractors you will see many other makes and models: Ford, Hanomag, Bautz, Fiat, Lanz-Bulldog. You will see hundreds of agricultural tools and objects you found on so many farms up to 30 or 40 years ago. In fact the museum has every tool and implement ever used by farmers in our regions.
They are classed by the sort of work or the kind of crop they were used for. Most of these tools have a long and distinguished carreer of hard labour behind them. But Jaak (Jake in English) Vannevel restores them and applies an ointment to protect them from rot or rust.
There is a detailed reconstruction of the cartwrights workshop of the Henneman family from Maldegem. There is a smithy completely reconstructed with its anvil and bellows.
There are grain fanning mills, water pumps, wrenches, cream separators and milk churns, scythes, sickles and hammers, wheels and carts, more tools and machines than most young people can imagine.
When the first combine harvesters arrived in our regions no one believed these things would catch on. In fact they were such a success that this then new wheat cutter never found a customer until Jaak got it still in its original crate unopened since it was made more than 50 years ago.
Do you know what a winnower is ? And what was a "molbord" used for ? I bet there isn't even an English word for this tool pulled by horses to get the mud out of a pool.
The Smoefel River Farm Museum in Donk is open for groups and by appointment only but on the second Sunday of September the Museum is open to the public and people come to Donk from everywhere to see the old tractors and many other machines at work once again.