Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Vegetable Field

I’m another step closer to getting into the healthcare system. Over the last couple of days I’ve been able to work the area of land I’m going to use this year for the vegetables.

For those who don’t know about my healthcare problem, in order to pay into the system and therefore be covered, I need 11.5 hectares of land. I have 11.33 and there is no land available close by that I could afford to purchase. The French way round this is for me to cultivate an area of land for vegetables. This area of land has a weighting of 3; so if I for instance cultivate .33 hectare, I end up with a nominal land tally of 12 hectares – 11.33 – 0.33 = 11, the 0.33 becomes 0.33 x3 = .99 – call it 1 hectare, 11 + 1 = 12, over the magic number of 11.5 and I can get health care.

Last year I attempted to cultivate an area only to see it disappear under water and become unworkable until mid year, far to late to do anything. This year I’ve taken an area of my cereal field, (last year it was already planted with wheat but this year I’m sowing sunflower in a couple of months so it was still fallow).

So this is the lower half of the area; I’m using an 8-bed rotation, potatoes, squash, root, beans, tomatoes, cabbage, everything else, and the two yellow markers nearest mark the top of bed 4. In the distance is a single marker that marks the far corner of the area, which is 60 m by 30 m, which is only .18 of a hectare but it’s about all I think I can manage and it just takes me over the magic 11.5.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I can hardly navigate the system I've living in all my life, let alone a foreign one in a different language than the one I've always known. You're doing great!! And, can't wait to see how your veggies go :-)

Olive said...

When I read your blogs about the work you are doing a song comes into my head, remember Helen Reddy ?
I am Woman, I can do ANYTHING.......
I think you are amazing.

Barbara Martin said...

Deborah, you are a wonder woman, being a farmer in a foreign land.

Mickle in NZ said...

just a small veggie patch - hope it all goes well. i often feel tired just reading about your farming.

Huggles to you and the lovely cats, Michelle xxx

dND said...

Having my Internet connection again is wonderful and I can actually reply to comments :-)

Jumbleberry, the French find it hard too, it's so bureaucratic but I've been fortunate in the officials I've met generally being helpful.

Olive, I have a couple of her albums and I do think of the song when I'm feeling I can't cope. Then it's head down and just plug or potter away until it's done.

Barbara. Thank you so much.

Mickle I am feeling a bit daunted by the size of the veg patch but I'm hoping it's just fear of the unknown. the cats all send purrs back, it's still cold enough at night for them all to be in.

Debra in France said...

The bureaucracy over here is unreal isn't it? The mountains of paperwork to get the slightest thing done is a real pain. I am still waiting for a Carte Vital, I have only been here 4 years, and been paying into the system for 3, maybe I shouldn't be so impatient!

dND said...

Oh Debra, don't say that :-) and here's me thinking I might get my card soon!

The Squirrel Family said...

Thats great news

Do you get grants and subsidies too and are they as bureaocratic and confusing??

Makes my small veggie garden look a bit amateurish...........but then i am only practicing!!

Shaz mum of 2

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