The little I've been told about the situation includes:
Some of the info requested is on home-based businesses,
crafts, record keeping, stress, alcoholism, time management,
and nutrition. Besides introductions to susainable ag, my
concerns center around possible ideas for farm product based
home-businesses (possibly crafts) that require few purchased
With the breakup of the Soviet Union has come the breakup of
the large commune farms and the return of SOME families to
their traditional family farms. A large farm is 40 acres.
Typical might be what we would call a large garden area and
1-5 dairy cows. Every home has an apple tree. There
are a few sheep. Crops include the "northern" small grains
(wheat, barley, etc.) and forages. Little fertilizer is
used (probably few purchased inputs of any kind). Sometimes
very large commercial size equipment is available from a no
longer functioning nearby commune, but it is too large and
not really appropriate for size and type of agriculture now
possible. One group of private landowners number about 6000
and have fairly good resources. Another numbers 75,000 with
only 2 1/2 hectares and limited resources. Their Extension
Service is relatively new and many of the farm advisors only
have experience from the large collective-type farms.
I've seen photos of some stunning examples of wood carving,
a national bee keeper's museum, and I seem to recall that
they do straw crafts and needlework.
Thank you for any references to resources that would be
useful for examples of "northern" sustainable ag - or even
ideas for home based businesses to look at!
Note: Gabriel Hegyes has already suggested a copy of the
SAN Cover Crops book.
Tory Shade, Farm Management Specialist
& Small Farm Family Program Supervisor
Southeast Region, University Extension-Missouri
Courthouse Basement, PO Box 218
Greenville, MO 63944 USA
(314) 224-3221 ext 31