Chie Nihei is standing beside a field of chest-high weeds piled with the remains of destroyed houses and a single gray van at her farm in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Six months after the March 11 tsunami inundated her neighborhood, she still seems surprised by the state of the once-orderly fields where she and her husband have grown vegetables and rice for 30 years. Since the tsunami, they have been unable to grow any crops.
Inside their immaculate post-and-beam farmhouse, newly refurbished with shiny floors and tatami mats, Tsugio says the ocean brought thick layers of salty, debris-laden sediment – but also an unexpected gift of nutrients to his fields.
Read the rest of the story: Farmers look for signs of hope six months after Japan’s tsunami.