In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people!

And since 1999, it seems things have only gotten better when it comes to small-scale agriculture in Russia. 

A Russian family by their Dascha, or family plot

A Russian family by their Dascha, or family plot

In 2003 the Russian President signed into law a further “Private Garden Plot Act” enabling Russian citizens to receive free of charge from the state, plots of land in private inheritable ownership. Sizes of the plots differ by region but are between one and three hectares each [1 hectare = 2.2 acres]. Produce grown on these plots is not subject to taxation. A further subsequent law to facilitate the acquisition of land for gardening was passed in June 2006. (according to a footnote in “Who We Are” by Vladimir Megre, pg. 42)

What other country raises so much of their food in such sustainable, organic, and non-GMO modes of production? While the European Union is setting the stage for agribusiness takeovers of major market share from traditional peasant farmers in places like Poland, Russia seems to be one of the few countries on the global stage moving so clearly in a sustainable and healthy direction.

And while organic farming gets a lot of media attention in North America, the fraction of agricultural land actually under organic cultivation is miniscule at 0.6%. The EU is a bit better at 4%. In spite of the minimal land area under organic cultivation, the movement for healthy agriculture in North America is under increasing siege by government “regulators”.

So what’s behind this wonderful new revival of Russian peasant agriculture? Could it be as simple as one person — Anastasia — a 40-year-old woman from Siberia who befriended a traveling Russian entrepreneur? Based on material Anastasia gave him, that entrepreneur, Vladimir Megre, has published nine books which have become underground best-sellers in Russia. 

One of Anastasia’s imaginations, which Megre describes in considerable detail, is a future in which more and more people live on small (one-hectare) homesteads, which she calls Kin’s Domains. There they cultivate the earth to grow trees and raise vegetables and fruits of exceptional nutritional value, with enough surplus to sell. Anastasia imagines a national culture based on simple rural life in eco-villages like these, in which values of health, love, truth, freedom and beauty take precedence. Eventually she sees this leading to a booming business in eco-tourism as people from all over the world want to come to Russia and catch with their own eyes a glimpse of what humanity and the world can become.

Anastasia, however, is not just a simple peasant woman. In fact, she seems to be something of a spiritual adept, in the ancient Vedic tradition. In addition to her suggestions for agriculture and nutrition, she shares with author Vladimir Megre, insights on subjects as diverse as statecraft and the education of children. The books are an enjoyable and educational read. Though it’s sometimes tiresome to wade through Megre’s personal struggles with the material, I don’t think there’s anything I’ve seen yet that quite compares with what Anastasia has put before us in these few slim volumes. She describes her mission as helping people find their way through “the dark forces’ window of time”. And that’s something we could sure use some help with. Thanks Anastasia!

Here’s an excerpt from one report on the Anastasia material from Scott Fraser, writing for RealitySandwich.com:

Another Russian family at their Dascha

Another Russian family at home in their Dascha

“….Vladimir Megre, a Siberian entrepreneur, is the author of The Ringing Cedars Series. The story begins with Vladimir on a commercial trade run through some remote communities of Siberia. He starts to build an interest in the economic value of the Siberian cedar, and then pursues reports of a “ringing cedar,” an anomalous tree that stores cosmic energies and, after many hundreds of years, begins to ring. On his journey, Vladimir meets Anastasia, a young woman who has grown up in the Siberian wilderness. She brings Vladimir back to her forest glade and shares her advice with him regarding the raising of children, living a natural lifestyle, and illuminating the spirit of Creation that rests within every person.

For Vladimir, living a few days in Anastasia’s world is full of shocking and mystifying experiences. Humbled by the simple accommodations of a grass-lined dugout and not even a fire, Vladimir witnesses the abilities of Anastasia’s visionary “Ray,” as well as her astonishing somersaults, swings, and soaring through the forest canopy. Both the wild animals and the plants in her domain are seemingly tamed, observes Vladimir, as he watches the squirrels bring her food, the cedars shower her in pollen, and witnesses a show of acrobatics with the denizen bear!

As Vladimir’s critical interest in these phenomena grow, Anastasia stresses the importance of the wisdom she offers, offering the vision of an emerging culture re-united with Nature. Letting the children grow up in orchards and gardens full of our love is the key to reclaiming humanity’s Creator role on earth, and this new Age of Co-Creation will be realized when we empower our dreams with the purity of thought that comes from living a natural life.

A typical Russian garden by uncommon vistas on Flickr

"A typical Russian garden" by "uncommon vistas" on Flickr

This is the story of The Ringing Cedars. Whether one accepts it as fact or fiction, it is playing a massive role in transforming the culture of Russia, and in various communities around the world.

Dachniks is a term for the cottage-gardeners of Russia, and we become very familiar with their story in reading Anastasia. Leonid Sharashkin, editor of The Ringing Cedars Series’ English editions and a doctoral student in Agroforestry, is able to share with us the massive impacts of this gardening movement in the larger context of Russia’s agricultural economy:

“Currently, with 35 million families (70% of Russia’s population) working 8 million [hectares] of land and producing more than 40% of Russia’s agricultural output, this is in all likelihood the most extensive microscale food production practice in any industrially developed nation.

“According to official statistics, in 1999 more than 35 million families (105 million people, or 71% of country’s population) owned a dacha or a subsidiary plot and were cultivating it… The 35 million plots of these families occupy more than 8 million hectares and provide 92% of Russia’s harvest of potatoes, 77% of its vegetables, 87% of berries and fruits, 59.4% of meat, and 49.2% of milk.”

“When you look at the contribution of gardening to the national economy as a whole, it’s even more stunning,” Sharashkin said. “In 2004, gardeners’ output amounted to 51% (by value) of the total agricultural output of the Russian Federation. This represents 384 billion rubles (approx. US$14 billion!!!), or 2.3% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is greater, for example, than the contribution of the whole of electric power generation industry (317 bn rubles), significantly greater than all of forestry, wood-processing and pulp and paper industry (180 bn), significantly greater than the coal (54 bn), natural gas (63 bn) and oil refining (88 bn) industries taken together. The share of food gardening in national agriculture has increased from 32% in 1992 to over 50% by 2000.”

Russian Dascha

Russian Dascha

“Essentially, what Russian gardeners do,” he concludes, “is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.”

Though the dacha movement has its roots in Russia’s traditional peasant culture (and more recently in post-WW2 programs to boost agricultural production) the Ringing Cedars movement has had its own major contributions since the release of the books in 1996. A strong focus on planting trees and using non-timber tree products, permaculture principles like “no-dig” gardens, and fulfilling a spiritual relationship with the land are some of the new characteristics among the dachniks who have been inspired by Anastasia.

As well, the readers of Anastasia are also at the heart of a growing Russian eco-village movement. These are subsistence communities made up of multiple family estates, normally called “Kin’s Domains,” a term that appears in the books. Along with each family’s estate of between one and three hectares, these eco-villages may include community areas with a school, clinic, theatre, and festival grounds. Before the release of the Ringing Cedars books, Russia was without an eco-village movement; but in 2004, a conference of readers had attendants representing more than 150 eco-villages!

The spiritual affinity within the communities of the Ringing Cedars movement lies in their vision of re-establishing “Motherland,” an eco-culture where every person is fulfilling their role as a Divine Co-Creator. As readers go deeper into the series, Anastasia begins to reveal the path back to the state of a Creator Being, teaching about “The Science of Imagery,” of empowering our creative ability with pure thought, feelings, and a loving relationship with Nature. She also shares her stories about the history of the People of Earth, of the priests who led us into the Occult Age that is just now ending, and of the Beauty that was found in the gardens and rituals of an ancient Vedic race.

An early cover from one of the first books in the series.

An early cover from the first book.

Anastasia also gives advice regarding the sowing of seeds, raising bees, and ideas for setting up a permaculture-style estate. Along with accounts of kombucha UFOs, ancestraldolmens (ancient burial chambers), and supernatural orbs, The Ringing Cedars Series contains a diverse array of paranormal tales, practical sustainability, poetic scripture, and cultural vision. For me, the books are a captivating read of personal, cultural, and spiritual significance.

Across Russia, “Garden Plot Acts” legislation is increasingly coming into effect, entitling each Russian citizen to a piece of land free from taxation and inheritable though the family line. I read this message of sovereign title to land for the purpose of spiritual fulfillment as a hopeful tiding of humanity’s future here on the planet. As I wander about visiting homesteads, farms, communities, and seeking the stories to inspire a natural and spiritual life, I have discovered Anastasia. It is one of those inspiring stories, and there are many blessings for us all on the path of Inspired Co-Creation…”

Read the whole story here on RealitySandwich.com

From “Woman in Russia.com”:

“In the 1960s the then General Secretary N.S.Khrushchov in compliance with the agricultural programm in Russia began to grant private citizens six hundred square meters plot on lease in collective orchards. Such a plot was called “dacha” (a country house). In the 1990s dachas turned from a place for rest into a major means of surviving – people then were more like farmers than amateur gardeners. For most people a dacha is a place to grow vegetables, fruit, berries…”

The economic situation has been slightly changing in the country since the late 90s. And gradually dachas have been turning into a place for a rest…

References:

Organic Farming by Country, from Wikipedia

“Out of Russia comes again the hope of the world” — Edgar Cayce   See this page for more background on Russia’s spiritual mission in our time.

Ringing Cedars Press – American distributor of the Anastasia books in English translation

Lead picture is from “From Russia with Love”

Second picture is from “Women in Russia” 

Uncommon Vistas on Flickr, source for “A Russian Garden” photo (3rd picture)

Related Posts:

Factory Farming Takes Eastern Europe

Clearance of Polish Peasant Farmers

Here are some pictures of a Polish family garden plot — note, this is not from Russia – from my visit to Poland in 2006:

A family garden plot in Poland thats been in the family for decades

A family garden plot in Poland that's been in the family for decades

Trees, landscaping and a humble cottage are part of this family plot.

Trees, landscaping, birdhouses and a cottage are all part of this treasured family plot.

My cousin and his wife in the green lane next to her familys garden plot in Poland.

My cousin and his wife in the green lane next to her family's garden plot in Poland.

In her fathers garden. A lot of love went into cultivating this place.

In her father's garden. A lot of love went into cultivating this place.

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99 Comments

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99 responses to “In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people!

  1. thebovine

    For more related stories, see this post on the Salt Spring News: http://saltspringnews.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=19574

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  4. Pingback: A good read!! | No Air No Jokes

  5. BC Food Security

    Very beautiful and inspiring article. For once one can say that maybe we Canadians need to be less “North American” or more like those Russians !

  6. Mark

    Lol America would love to have freedoms like this.

  7. Reblogged this on Farmanywhere's Blog and commented:
    Successful small, family, organic food plots. What country comes to mind?

  8. Pingback: Waking Times. Where revolution and evolution collide, bringing ideas that make the world a better place. : Waking Times

  9. Pingback: Russia moves away from the MEGA farm. | Aquaponics Info

  10. Kevin

    In some of our states the Federal Govt owns most of the land. In Alaska less than 1% is private land. It would seem like the Govt could give away a bunch of land in most of the western states. Right now our food supply chain is somewhat fragile.

    • Everyone here must remember that in this insane country (USA) the vicious government wants EVERYONE to depend on government (so they are inexpendable) …There are endless stories like a woman (I think Michigan) who grew a garden in her private front yard and was incessantly harassed by local government…Federal animals harassing small bee keepers and confiscating all their equipment and bees….
      What you just read about this encouraging movement in Russia is the very OPPOSITE of what is taking place in the United States…
      Mike Adams’ NaturalNews.com reports extensively on what the repulsive US government is doing to turn the people into helpless drones…

  11. I think you will be inspired by my site on how to cook using free energy, by using a solar oven. Check out the DIY solar oven links and other subject links to a sustainable way of life. Love your work…Truly Inspired..Happy Gardening..Thanks for sharing :)

    • jack

      A solar oven???? typical self absorbed yank….the story is about small organic gardens in Russia…..nothin to do with your solar oven or website….get a life

  12. I love Anastasia and I live by her ideals. Look for biochar project kunghur australia. I am living the dream and shareing it with my local community.
    Charmaster Dolph Cooke

  13. Awake

    Shows you what a bunch of mental retards we have as bureaucrats and politicians.

  14. Awake

    Freedom… priceless!

  15. My guess is Russia is better able to distribute land use in this way being ex-communist with less private ownership of land. How to convince the developed western world to allocate family plots according to Anastasia’s principles has me stumped! (I’m a dedicated fan of ‘The ringing Cedars’ series) I hope the landshare/farmshare/community garden movement goes viral to get the proccess moving in our ‘advanced’ civilizations. I often think Bill Mollison (father of Permaculture movement) was right when he declared that the first world countries would be the third world countries of the future. Please friends, it’s up to us to re-create Eden- grow food wherever you are!

  16. Pingback: In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — City Farmer News

  17. alex

    When americans will have nothing to eat like people in Russia did in 1990s they will start growing food instead of lawns.

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  19. indigo

    It starts with stopping UN Agenda 21.
    Family plots will not be tolerated,only high rise whack and stack buildings where humans will be herded,ever separated from nature,with only GMO food and soma drugs so they can tolerate this environment.Get involved with stopping Agenda 21.

    • sounds absolutly dreadful. those people have really nice homes and gardens and they look like they have time and energy to actually enjoy family gatherings for fun too. how nice.

  20. Pingback: In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people! « nadavu@wordpress.com

  21. Pingback: 35 million family plots produce 77% of Russia’s vegetables and 60% of its meat….

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  26. Pingback: Eco Village Model : Imagine living in a country where having the freedom to cultivate your own land, tax-free and without government interference « Family Survival Protocol

  27. Peter

    Where can we apply to become a part of the Russian Federation?

  28. Stan

    Do you people really think you can’t grow a garden in the U.S.? They just choose not to because food is so easy to obtain in this country. We grow a garden every year we even sell at our local farmers market and no one tells us we can’t.

    • The Russian state gives this land FOR FREE to its citizens!!! This is something most Europeans and other slaves of capitalism can only dream of! Owning a small piece of land is TRUE FREEDOM. People who don’t own a small piece of land are slaves!

      • agreed, don’t pay the taxes (despite haveing paid off an unfair mortgage contract) lose said home/land without reimbursments for what you paid into in terms of money labor and improvements.

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  33. Now that is some wonderful news, way to go Russia, to bad our government wouldn’t do they same. Food out of the hands of corporation control, nice.

  34. Pingback: Russia’s small-scale organic agriculture model may hold the key to feeding the world « Tahrir-ICN

  35. Pingback: Russia’s small-scale organic agriculture model may hold the key to feeding the world | The Golden Rule

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  39. aj

    Thanks for the article. Recently, I have been researching Russia and finding all kinds of delightful gems. This is just one more gem to add to it.

    I would say that the Russian people are finally living under an abundance of freedoms we can only dream of.

    Hitlery Clinton has stated that Putin is a man without a soul. Putin responded by stating that the head of state should have more of a head. :) Most impressive is the speeches that Putin has given over this past year. Check them out on Youtube. Check out what all he has done for the Russian people on Wikipedia. Then you will know whom Putin really is and what great things he is doing for the common people of Russia.

  40. Reblogged this on SLEUTH 4 HEALTH and commented:
    Worldwide… many more stories like this please!

  41. this is very inspiring, you know every year I have more and more gardens, one year i experiemented with green beans, (I have health problems so it took a lot of energy to try to do even this) and I just loved them.! last year I grew two different kinds, one was a ornamental edible and my mistake was I did not fence it in guess the deer and rabbits liked the flowers on them, so I didn’t get any beans, grew some tomatoes, made the mistake of planting them to close together, planted some hot peppers and green peppers, planted them to small and they didn’t survive will wait longer next time, but this year I am better prepared to plan it a head of time and starting plants in a pot and wait unitl they are strong enough to transplant, I have roses too, passion flower vine that is absolutly beautiful, and some raspberry bushes I planted which I think I better replant them ptu them to close to the woods. so you can garden it just takes time to learn because I don’t know any gardeners except a guy up the street and I am not sure he wants me to bug him with questions.lol

  42. Thanks for this. I have taken the liberty of pinning it to my Facebook wall and also to a Wizzley Article I have just written.

    http://wizzley.com/anastasia/

  43. D. Smith

    I wonder how this is going as of 2013?

    Russia moves forward, america moves backward. Ironic, huh? Americans can only dream of a gubment with the intent to actually help the people. In america we’re moving more in the direction of a society run by Nero. We have seen his face . . . his evil face.

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  47. Where do you get your figures from? Starting an article with a load of percentages and no source makes it seem like more internet BS.

  48. Pingback: Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold The Key To Feeding The World

  49. Pingback: Ein Hektar Gartenland für jeden Russen | MikeKern's Blog

  50. Kody Tillotson

    He shows his sources, they come from Leonid Sharashkin. I have various links to the same basic information.:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=3hYNVSU9ewkC&pg=PA135&lpg=PA135&dq=dacha+plot+statistics&source=bl&ots=Rqm3PGo_o6&sig=jiq8xsBKrNPHYZfNjr_xWMkQ2Zk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=4JncUd6aIoj2igKcs4E4&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=dacha%20plot%20statistics&f=false

    http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/010177.sharashkin.pdf

    So check this out, it started through these books, in Russia that is, even though the country had some basic history behind it to make this movement easier. We had home-steading and victory gardens, and we also have permaculture movement. The books highlight their country’s and the earth’s bright future. Book 8.1 even highlights a radiant future for the U.S. and speaks about how it will happen! They started a Motherland party based on the complex images and basic ideas represented in the books, and people have wrote letters and talked to many others to get these things to happen. Those who have or have not read the books should make an American Motherland Party to spread the ideas, and then refer to the books on some basic benefits that would be given by such a party! I am currently working on it the little I can, and I am going to be making flyers, and do a youtube video. The thing is that there is a lot of truthful information in the books that would make any motherland party the mother of all platforms! One of the basic platforms is guaranteeing effective rites to keep the energy of love in families forever! Also holding soulmate festivals where people can find their soulmates and start on finding their own piece of land.

    Here is one possible system I came up with to help pay for Kin’s Domains, but I know little about these things so would need others to look it over (it requires a political party and a pure minded association of entrepreneurs to get companies who want to help)

    Credit is pulled from all involved wholesale companies (including big agro-business corporations if they agree) to support the building of Kin’s Domains.

    Wholesale companies price the produce sold from Kin’s Domains and other items made at a marked up price.

    Further credit is pulled from the wholesale companies and the investors/banks make their profit, and continue to help build Kin‘s Domains! Banks would become part of a wholesale company, sharing in giving credit to build Kin‘s Domains, and in making profit from wholesales.

    Both make a lot of money if say at least 10% have these Kin’s Domains, although the percentages could be much greater.

    Question: Would it even be possible to also pull credit from the Government without it effecting the Domains? We have something they want, food that will give them health into their old years. Maybe we wont need to? Either way, we need a Motherland party to air the ideas in the books, in an independently stated way, but still connected with the books! I will draft up a pamphlet right away! We may also need to wait until the U.S. sees the benefits that Russian’s are having today, and there is also the Russian population here in the U.S. who might be attracted to these ideas… I am trying to work to bring this information to everyone!

  51. Kody Tillotson

    There is also a Summer People’s day, Gardener Day, or All Earth Holiday!!! It was thought up by Vladimir Megre and Anastasia together when he was talking with Anastasia about a way to repay all of the Russian dacha plot gardeners from before the books came, for saving the Earth! Anastasia says that the Earth would have undergone a destructive cataclysm if the millions of Russian hands did not loving touch the Earth when they did. They touched the earth in freedom on their plots of land and rekindled the spirit of the earth there, helping the Earth to find the strength to move on! All Earth Holiday! July 23!

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  54. STEVE

    If it didn’t get so cold I would move my family to Russia. It’s a CHRISTIAN nation, and they have more morals then the US. Just watch an hour of our TV shows it sad. And to have NON GMO food and small family farms is what Thomas Jefferson wanted to see in this country. “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.”- Jefferson
    Also another quote from Jefferson “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands

    • You may notice that ”The Cultivators of The Land” have been heavily under attack in the USA…They haven’t done it as obviously as the Soviets did to the Kulaks (murder, rape and starvation) …But they are doing it slowly through taxation, regulation, GMOs, and 3rd world non-white relocation into their areas….

  55. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people! | The Bovine

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  66. oort

    WE are all wonderful….. creative …gardeners ….. we CAN do this ….GLOBALLY
    Can’t you just FEEL everyone waking up?
    …..bit by bit……
    it’s happening …now

    RING THE BELLS!

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  77. Ines Radman

    I live in Croatia, those of us that have homes all have gardens and are self sufficient. My lot is 1/2 acre including our home, I only use 1/2 the plot using the Sq. Ft. Gardening method and can grow all my needs for 2 people. I rarely buy any vegetables in the store, our community meets every Sunday afternoon where we talk about gardening and sharing seeds. Used to live in Vancouver BC for 42 years, starting a garden here 8 years was the most incredible experience to feel self sufficient and to be in control of what I eat and it’s quality. Unfortunately, laws in North America do not allow for people to have gardens in front yard, ppl need to band together and start changing that, you don’t have a choice, it’s a matter of life and death nowadays.

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