by Tanya  

When talking about food, it is important to mention the concept of огород, the individual plot of land, typically small, where people grow their own vegetables. Sometimes they also plant a few fruit trees, providing them­­selves with fruit: pears, apples, cherries, etc. The importance of огород can not be underestimated. If not for the огороды, during the Soviet era and post-Soviet collapse millions of people would not have made it: literally, they would probably have starved to death. Statistics show that, for example, in Soviet times, the individual plots of land made up around 30% of arable land, whereas колхозная земля (factory farm land) was over 70% of the arable land, and yet «колхозные земли производили меньше, чем пятьдесят процентов овощей» “factory farm lands produced less than 50% of [the country's] vegetables!” The difference is startling, no?!

Many wonder how such a difference in crop yield could be explained?? There are some theories on that account that circulate. The one I like the most is the theory of “love energy.” It states that all is energy, and where we put loving energy, there life flourishes, in all its manifestations and forms, because love is the only energy that sustains life. Plants also feel it, and respond to this energy accordingly. So, on individual plots of land people tend to their plants with love, and so they respond with magnificent yields. Whereas on factory farm land all is обезличено depersonalized. Machines are in charge of everything, and so the plants are not used to their full potential. In J. Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy" it talks a lot about it. Recently, I also discovered the long-time Russian best-seller "Anastasia: Ringing Cedars of Russia" series, where they also talk extensively on the subject. I learned about this series from an interview with L. Sharashkin, which is amazing in its content; when I listened to it, it was eye-opening in a lot of ways to me: after that interview I wanted so much to read the "Anastasia..." books. I found them on-line, and, amazingly, it also talked a lot about the "plant issue"!

Anyway, to finish off my contribution, I would say that up to this day Russians are very fond of their land plots, and grow (with love!) a significant share of their food supply on their private plots, огород. BTW, those огород vegetables are millions times more delicious than vegetables we sometimes eat from factory farms!

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