Pensioners Harvesting Food From A Plot Of Wetland In Šiauliai, Lithuania

 

Documentary photographer Eugenijus Barzdžius is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  These images are from his book/project ‘Harvest of Wetland‘.  To see Eugenijus’ body of work click on any image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2002, frustrated with the long journey to attain legal allotments on the outskirts of the city, a self-governed space was established by a group of pensioners on a piece of wetland in Šiauliai, Lithuania. The fifteen elderly people occupied the land, built demarcation lines, erected buildings from scrap materials and dug out a drainage system to create a series of working allotments.

Every spring and autumn, after the last cabbage has been harvested, or just before potato planting, they collectively hire a tractor to plow the land. Homeless strangers would sometimes devastate buildings and greenhouses, only for the resilient pensioners to quickly rebuild them from anything they could gather.

For some the allotment is a source of vegetables, berries and fruits to be conserved or pickled for winter.  Jars of self-cultivated products are important for their tables and supplement the meager state pensions that fail to fill their stomachs. For others, the allotments offer a kind of therapy and an escape from four flat walls: they keep a connection with the Earth and prepare the ground for the next generation.  They nurture and survive.

 

 

 

 

 

See also:

Harvest of Wetland

Book by Eugenijus Barzdžius

 


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