The Blueberry at the End of the World

    Last updated on 22 Mar 2023, 9:12pm2 min read




    How am I going to survive the coming apocalypse if it takes me more than two years to grow a single blueberry?

    I planted this blueberry bush a few months into COVID. I won’t lie, I was initially spooked by the virus. For the first couple months I wiped down every grocery item, every banana bunch, even my credit cards, with alcohol. I bought giant bags of rice and dry beans. I can proudly say I did not freak out and buy a bunch of toilet paper. I filled my little garden with survival crops—cassava, sweet potato, moringa, mulberry, yams and the blueberry bush. These plants were supposed to put me on the road to self-sufficiency. Things grew with varying success, but after a couple of years, all that came out of the ground wouldn’t have been enough calories for more than week, let alone some indefinite Florida apocalypse.

    We can’t be afraid of the end of the world all the time. It’s too exhausting to think about UN climate reports everyday. Sociopathic heads of state with their fat fingers hovering over nuclear buttons of Damocles should keep us up all night. But the media feeds us existential worry at a sustainable level. Just enough to not do anything about it, but feel good about ourselves for caring. I’m still growing food in my edible garden, but without consideration for survival. But then I saw it. A lone blueberry sitting at the top of my bush. I’d nearly given up on the plant. Still an unripe mint green, the berry wasn’t blue yet. But it reminded me why I grew it in the first place and the tenuous state of things...


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    (There are a lot more blueberries in Maine)