National Geographic : 2010 Jun
and a tractor with big tillers he had delivered on old military landing cra . When I ask Poulsen if he thinks global warming will make life easier for him or his child, his expression becomes almost pained. He looks at me appraisingly as he lights a cigarette, which momentarily disperses a cloud of mosquitoes. "Last year we almost had a catastrophe," he says. "It was so dry the harvest was only half of normal. I don't think we can count on normal weather. If it's getting warmer, we'll have to water more, invest in a watering system. In the winter we don't have normal snow; it rains, and then it freezes. at's not good for the grass. It's just exposed in the cold." Over lunch in Poulsen's white wood-frame home, the mystery of his French accent is solved: Agathe Devisme, his companion, is French. Sa- voring the fusion meal she has prepared---shrimp and cat sh au gratin, mattak, or raw whale skin, and apple cake flavored with wild angelica--- I think back to the more rustic dinner I'd enjoyed a few nights earlier in Qaqortoq, at an annual gala attended by nearly every farming family on the Banana Coast. A er dinner a white-haired Inuit man had begun playing an accordion, and everyone in the hall, some 450 people, had linked arms, swaying side to side as they sang a traditional Greenlandic paean: Summer, summer, how wonderful How incredibly good. e frost is gone, e frost is gone... Leaving the Poulsens, Høegh and I run back down the ord with the føn---the wind o the ice sheet---at our stern. Høegh would be happy, he had said earlier, if Greenland's farms were to get to the point where they grow most of their own winter fodder for their sheep and cattle; many farms, far from feeding their countrymen, now import more than half their fodder from Europe. In Høegh's house that evening we stand look- ing out the window at his garden. e føn has become erce. Horizontal sheets of rain atten his rhubarb and his turnips; his trees bend like supplicants before implacable old gods. "Damn!" Høegh says quietly. " e weather's tough here. It will always be tough." j Rain blurs the view of icebergs in Narsaq, where a mysterious decline in shrimp has shuttered a processing plant and le dozens of residents pondering an uncertain future.