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Valentina and her husband Sasha collect beets from their summer garden, only accessible by boat on the Danube River. In Vilkovo, villagers often have summer gardens and even dotchkas, small shack-like summer houses made mostly of mud and built by hand, where they are able to grow vegetables in addition to those grown at home. Valentina explains that the marshy land on the island, known as Patlatia Island to locals, is more difficult to work with than in Vilkovo, but it's necessary to grow the food needed for themselves as well as to sell at the market. Valentina and Sasha must frequently dig trenches to keep their plot on the island above water level. Sasha worked repairing motors for a ship repair company at a large dock that folded after the fall of the Soviet Union, leaving many without jobs or government support. Sasha points to a wild patch of gnarled tree limbs and ferns and explains that it too was a garden plot at one time, but the children to whom it was left took jobs on passenger ships that travel the Danube where they can make more money. A theme, he points out, that is much too common in Ukraine's rural villages.
Valentina and her husband Sasha collect beets from their summer garden, only accessible by boat on the Danube River. In Vilkovo, villagers often have summer gardens and even dotchkas, small shack-like summer houses made mostly of mud and built by hand, where they are able to grow vegetables in addition to those grown at home. Valentina explains that the marshy land on the island, known as Patlatia Island to locals, is more difficult to work with than in Vilkovo, but it's necessary to grow the...
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