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The Far East is not raspberries, but blueberries

EastRussia went to the taiga - together with the villagers, surviving only thanks to the wild plants

Somewhere in the Far East, factories and factories have long been a stake, and strong village boys with dashes in workbooks go and collect berries. Primitive communal system in the epoch of nanorobots and crypto-currencies on the example of a separate village - in the East Russia report.

The Far East is not raspberries, but blueberries
Photo: Elena Vertyankina
"The salary has ripened": how does the population of the Far Eastern remote region survive where the only work is in the administration, the school and the village store? Why in 2017 year people are thrown almost to cave times? East Russia went for 100 kilometers from Khabarovsk, to Vyazemsky district, to see everything with my own eyes. Exact coordinates of the scene at the request of the conductors will remain unreported. 

5 am. Darkness. The workers of the offices are still watching the dreams, and the truck is already rushing around the courtyards of the Dormidontovka (Khabarovsk Territory, Vyazemsky district, the population according to the census 2017 - 467 people), gathering the team. Villagers working age of both sexes at the appointed time at the ready. Fine for being late - you are left without work and money. The "official" car belongs to one of the secret foremen, each of the passengers is thrown off as a fare for diesel fuel. Today, on board the 12 man, the collective is more or less permanent. We leave the asphalt and go deep into the taiga; Every minute the sky is getting lighter, the road is more bumpy. On the way, the village people conduct an impromptu "planerka": on the agenda - weather, protection against the nemesis and distribution of harvest areas.      

After an hour and a half we are in place. There are already parked several cars, all here. Dawn does not shed light on our location - without experienced guides, the road to the berry can not be found. Before going to workplaces, the assemblers re-dress: rubber boots on their feet, closed clothes and protection for the face and head, such a dresscoat is dictated by the swampy terrain and the bastard. Mary begins already half a hundred meters from the curb. We find it in a veil of dense fog, amberly illuminated by the first dawn rays. Our guides confidently dive into the haze and one by one dissolve in the fields. The fog crawls to the forest belt, cotton candy caps settling on the bushes. Here it is - blueberry, all strewn with drops of dew.

"The sooner we start working day, the better - says the resident of Dormidontov Evgeni Tishchenko. - We need to have time to collect as much as possible, until it's hot and the gadfly will not. Then hard. There is no other work in the village at all, and such a picture in our Vyazemsky district is everywhere. We start work in May, finish in October. We collect wild garlic, fern, mushrooms, berries, nuts, but with a nut is more difficult - cedar fructifies once in 4 year. Lilies of the valley we collect and sell. In winter we harvest firewood, cut ourselves, sell. From Dormidontovka we have half a walk. Now everyone who is on the mari is an official unemployed. On the day you can earn from 5 to 20 thousand. I need money very much, my school is on the nose, I need to collect children. Feed, again - the products are expensive. The berries are in the summer, and in the winter we write out the plots, we prepare firewood. Peel, we carry and sell. "

Unemployed Eugene among his own is considered a leader, for an 8-hour working day, he takes out from the marshes up to 70 liters of blueberries. True, he collects vitamins by a scraper. His working tool is a matter of pride, hendmade, he himself soldered it from electrodes and tin. However, among collectors there is more honor in manual manual labor. The scraper removes the entire berry from the bush indiscriminately, green, including, and the next time there is nothing left. And so blueberries bear fruit until September. Berries, as they say local, enough for all, so between the villages there are no fights for the territory. Zaletnyh guests from the city, who, incidentally, are rare here, are also not being driven. "We are guests here," say the assemblers. 

But there are such competitors with whom it is difficult to build a constructive dialogue.

"Yesterday there was a little bear, they were walking, they saw him, he ran away. It would be great, my mother would have yelled at the whole forest. Bear with us feeds on these glades, and there are many, very many! Constantly you come, here the hummocks are razvorochennye. I study in the forestry technical school in Vyazemsky, on the mechanic. Money is very necessary, because I'm taking a risk. Remedy for the bear - legs in hands and run. And so work in the fresh air, a useful berry, we overeat it. For the winter we prepare jam, so we freeze. We eat then until spring "- another participant of the self-organized national artel Anastasia Kuznetsova shared. 

Large round-shaped blueberries are considered the top picks for pickers - they are sweeter; elongated blue - sweet and sour; from a shallow one can set the teeth on edge. The number of berry artels operating in the Far East cannot be counted; it varies greatly depending on the yield of the year. For example, in the spring of 2017, part of the blueberry marsh in the Vyazemsky District of the Khabarovsk Territory suffered from fires and, according to collectors, the planned burns of foresters - this year they are empty. But we can safely talk about hundreds of people's brigades in the Far East, and they are all arranged according to a similar principle. The able-bodied population, which could "raise from its knees" the economy of the region, in fact, was thrown back into primitive times, when gathering together with hunting and fishing was the only way to survive. City-forming enterprises remained in regional centers, and here, as in a prestigious university, there are several people per place.  

For example, another healthy and hard-working country boy is Eldar Amirov, an auto mechanic by profession. Its history is like hundreds and thousands of others: "It's hard to find a job even in the city, in the same Khabarovsk, but we generally keep quiet. I tried to ride watches, at first they seem to pay, then less and less. As a result, you will stay on the watch for a month, you will not earn anything, how will the family be without money? I have a wife, a son. We do not have any work in Vyazemsky! One dairy was, and he is already falling apart, on the brink. We have a hospital in the district - this is the only place of work left and administration, and then there you will not get settled, there all work. Our village people who study, receive education, then try to break into the city. The notorious Far Eastern hectare - that will give it, but what to do in the bare field, what to build? We need some starting capital. Million must be at least. We have so much land, there are fields, but there's so much to be invested in engineering and strength. "

In Khabarovsk, however, there are companies that accept from the population all kinds of gifts from the taiga - berries, cedar cones, mushrooms, ferns, wild garlic, lemongrass - and are engaged in the processing of raw materials into jams, pickles, jams, syrups, etc., as well as branded packaging of products ... But it is unprofitable to rent, the purchase price is too low, the collectors say, and they go to sell the vitamin wild plant on the side of the federal highway, or in the regional capital. Those who do not have their own transport - they rent them out at a bargain price.

Blueberries and other wild plants, seasonal, bring good dividends: on marsh freelance you can earn 60 and more than thousand a month, 2 thousand a day per person, according to the scheme - you collect the day, you sell the day. But each of the collectors would not look to change this almost hard labor on the mares to a stationary workplace and record in the work book. Let and with a lower salary, but at least with some confidence in the future.  
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