Cutting grass – harvesting direct payments 2 – bad harvest

Weeks of my efforts to cut the grass in the traditional way with just a scythe last summer were in vain. Payment agency decided to grant me nothing.

Can’t blame them though. My potato field and a field near it were not accurate. Altogether it was about 1 ha of 6 that I applied to the direct payments. I lost opportunity to get about 500 euro.

My mistake however was the fact that I tried to apply those fields with hope, that if they are not ok, I simply get a suspension of payments to those respective fields. Agency for some reason had a bad mood and decided to cut out absolutely everything (if more than 5% is not ok, they can chose whether to suspend or completely decline).

Next year I should be very careful. Another mistake like this, and the next administrative punishment for me shall be deprivation of rights to apply for these payments for three years.

If I am not successful next year as well, I must amend my application very strictly in the middle of August. Anyway, I got more used to this job last year, so this year I must simply devote myself to it starting from June and finish everything in the middle of August.

I must admit, that another reason of this failure was that I didn’t devote myself much enough to farming last year. My choice to travel and perform during last summer, especially in June and July, was wrong. Taking everything more seriously this year must help. And I must keep in mind, that government needs businessmen in the countryside, therefore they can be merciless towards those who don’t make money.

Problem is money, and this time I am really running out of it. I have some 100 eur left. Then there might be some 150 eur a return from the taxes that I paid last year. Some 100 eur grant per month for attending school. But I need cattle to deal with those fields, now I can’t buy any. My only hope is Heifer project. However also some people proposed me to take their animals to my place. I will not get extra money for that, but at least it shall be less job with cutting the grass. And the money, I could get it with only seven beehives.

Also there is a rumor, that there will be no cattle money after some years. Farmers in the western part of republic are pretty pissed off, because they don’t have a right to have it, so they try to persuade government guys to completely ban less favored region payments.

Anyway it is nice to realize the position of the government towards eco-beginner-farmer-guys like me. So when time comes, when I have a real farm with a real risks, I know that relying on them is not wise. At some extent I am glad I didn’t spend whole summer last year cutting grass – I am more than just sure, that they would have found reason not to grant me payments anyway. There is not much trouble, because planet will run out of oil pretty soon and this shall be the point when “do it with own hands” guys like me will be the only ones capable to do the job.

Beginning of the story:


About Pavels Melnis

Independent ecology activist, family farmer, gardener and forestkeeper. Musician: violin, guitar, singing. Hobbies: traveling by bicycle, learning to play different music instruments - accordion, piano, recorder flute, harmonica, drums; languages, theology, prehistory, logbuilding, repairing and recycling. Religious. Ecological. Love all things ethnic and traditional.
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