Biodynamics in Russia
Biodynamic agriculture reached Russia only after the collapse of the Soviet Union, so it is still in its early stages of development and even though quite a few farmers produce biodynamic products, it is difficult to find those products in shops or markets, Ecoconnect reports. The German-Canadian farmer Bernhard Hack set up a 100 ha biodynamic farm about 150 km away from Moscow in Bolotovo village in 1992. The farm was producing milk, dairy products, cereals, bread and vegetables. Some more German activists settled there to develop the movement and over time the farm could supply local communities and schools with its products. However, one year ago, due to some administrative problems, the farm’s last manager Markus Schumacher moved away from Bolotovo. He is now managing an organic farm and next year he is planning to allot a plot of the land to breed goats and produce biodynamic dairy products which will be available for purchase in Moscow.
The Tuzhyliny family in Siberia run a club called “Harmony”, where they teach biodynamic agriculture, publish an on-line newspaper, produce biodynamic preparations and seeds for sale and have a small online shop where one can buy hand-made cosmetics, herbal teas and dried herbs. The non-profit organization “Biodinamika,” based in St. Petersburg since 1995, carries out similar activities. Currently the director of “Biodinamika” Irina Belyakova, sees her mission in bringing biodynamic agriculture into a new level by lobbying the local government, educating farmers and school children. Every year “Biodinamika” gives a large national 5-day seminar. Their plan is to create a school. The most successful production project has been accomplished by the “Tul’sky Zveroboy” company. Since 2007, the farm is certified as organic, and last year they started to use biodynamic preparations for the green crops production. All the products can be also ordered online in Moscow.
The biodynamic area in Russia is relatively small – around 300 ha. Non-profit Partnership Agrosophie plays an important role in the development of biodynamic agriculture in the country. The partnership creates a network of biodynamic farmers, consults those who want to convert their farms into biodynamic farms, and leads projects on production, processing and distribution. Agrosophie introduced Demeter biodynamic standards in Russia and also carries on development of legislative framework for organic and biodynamic agriculture on the governmental level. Agrosophie is also IFOAM member. In Russia, farms can also be certified as biodynamic. Responsible for certification is Eco-Control.