Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Conversation with Absinthia, Part 5

The Fredrikstrands garden in Ekerö, Sweden
photo by Per Ola Wiberg

This is part of a continuing series of email letters exchanged with my Swedish friend, Absinthia. To see the whole series, start with Do the Right Thing.


I am dealing with my fears for all the dangers with radiation by being very very careful with the food. I am very careful with what food I buy, checking its origin carefully, and never buying anything ready made, I make it myself as much as possible. I am very much into “slow food,” “local food,” and “real food.” We buy a lot of veggies from a local gardener, and grow some ourselves. This might sound strange, but it is grown in greenhouses. That is standard here today. You just don´t want to grow things in the actual ground if it is possible to grow it in a greenhouse, in a pot, or in a raised bed.

Around here now, we grow things first and foremost in greenhouses, but sometimes you can´t afford a greenhouse, or the things you want to grow are too big for your greenhouse, then you grow it in raised beds or pots. If you grow in a greenhouse you still make raised beds or use pots. You buy all the soil in sacks from the national gardening firms. You don't want to grow something that you are going to eat in the ground. We still have problems with polluted earth and polluted growth.

Then there’s the risk for radioactivity in the moose meat and the reindeer meat--it is not about whether the meat is radioactive or not, is is about how high the level of radioactivity is. Is it an acceptable level of radioactivity, or not? If it is not, it has to be destroyed.

And I am very much an activist. I do what I can to leave this place in a better shape than it was when I got here. That is much better than to just accept that the politicians are turning it into a heap of junk, I think. That way I can look myself in the mirror, without bad conscience for not doing my best.

My husband is reading this blog, and he said he was proud of me, for daring to tell our experience to the world.

For more on post-Chernobyl food production, see "Life After Chernobyl," in Mother Earth News, May/June 1987.

Dear Absinthia,

I’m proud of you, too, for speaking out. Thank you for sharing it with me!

Wow, I had no idea that there was a danger of ground contamination in parts of Europe after all this time, or even right after the Chernobyl meltdown. This just hasn’t been in the US news or anything. I wonder why??

Humanity really has been busy destroying the Earth that sustains us. This makes me so mad. A few opportunists cut corners, hide the truth, make a toxic mess, and the rest of us have to grow our food in greenhouses and deal with cancer for years and years and years.

Somehow, some way, I know this will get resolved. I don’t know how, and it might not be in my lifetime. But I know the Earth can make it through, and we… well, we make our choices and do the best we can. Hold good thoughts for the Earth and this crazy race of humans, and maybe we’ll make it too.


This conversation is continued here:
A Conversation with Absinthia, Part 6.

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