Our latest publication
We published, print-on-demand, Kak vyraschivat' bol'she ovoschei - the Russian translation of the latest edition of How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons - back in June, 2016. Its original publication in 1993 was the inspiration for BfR, and its re-issue is clearly needed for the continued success of promoting GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-farming (GB) in Eurasia. Those unfamiliar with GB - for which double-digging of wide beds, propagation of seedlings in flats, composting, and intensive planting are tenets - should see this concise description of the resource-conserving gardening method we're promoting.
We were happy to hear from Dr. Ludmila Zhirina and Albina Samsonova of the NGO VIOLA in Bryansk, who renewed contact in spring 2016. Ludmila introduced us via email to Dr. Dmitry Filippenko, director of the Green Planet NGO in Kaliningrad, Russia's exclave on the Black Sea. We then sent electronic copies of our Russian-language publications to Dmitry, who studied and practiced Biointensive during the summer - and by fall was already teaching workshops!Recent and future workshops
We supported small printings of "the book" in two Russian cities, so that they could be distributed to teachers at workshops in early fall. Copies that Grassroots Alliance PERESVET director Igor Prokofev had printed in Bryansk were distributed at a workshop taught by Natalya Koryagina and Svetlana Vaganova from the Domashovo village school, during an Eco-Schools/Green Flag conference in St. Petersburg (see page 4 of our newsletter).
Further workshops are planned for the spring, including in Kazan (Tatarstan) and Kaliningrad. We are also very hopeful that Dmitry Filippenko will be able to attend the 3-day workshop at Ecology Action in Willits in early March.
Experiments conducted in 2013-2014 and 2016
Our longtime partner the Grassroots Alliance PERESVET in Bryansk, led by Dr. Igor Prokofyev, continued its research program in 2013 and 2014 with an experiment on the effect of GB double-digging and composting in reducing lead content in soil and vegetables. Lead and other heavy metals not only affect human health if ingested in vegetables, they also lead to foliar damage and reduction in growth. The experimental results showed a 6 to 31-percent reduction of lead due to the use of GB double-digging and composting. The experiment report is included in our current newsletter.
When planning PERESVET's 2016 experiment, Igor wrote that he "hopes to demonstrate that organic compost made from zinc- and selenium-rich vegetables is as effective as non-organic mineral supplements in reducing lead and cadmium in vegetable crops." We look forward to his report; do write to us if interested in collaborating in reviewing it, or in suggesting new topics!
How you can help
For now, financial support will need to come from donors like yourself at whatever level is possible for you! Join Us if you'd like to help; in return, we'll keep you up-to-date with annual paper newsletters and thank-yous. And if you haven't already done so, do sign up for our free email reports! And do see page 7 of our newsletter for more ways to support our work in Eurasia!