Biointensive for Russia's 2005 Culture Eco-Ag Tour:
|In and around Bryansk, we visit Tyutchev's estate at Ovstug, a home & garden, and a school
|Mark (Georgia), Shoshana, Romie, Dave, and Arline at the entrance to the estate of Fyodor Tyutchev, a renowned 19th-century poet-diplomat
|Romie at the nearby folk crafts museum. Her grandparents came from Russia!
|Katya, her mother, and her aunt graciously hosted us to olad'i, Russian pancakes similar to ours, homemade jam, and tea after showing us their GROW BIOINTENSIVE garden
|The Ecocenter at the school of which Viola active member Oleg Zavarzin is principal. Biodiversity displays, GROW BIOINTENSIVE info, and seed collections are displayed on the walls
|Oleg (left) and Viola member Albina Samsonova who attended a Willits workshop in 1996 (front, center) pose with our entire group at the school. See Shoshana's site for photos of the school's fine ecocenter!
|Ludmila Zhirina conducted Jill Slocum and Carol Vesecky on a tour of the Bryansk region's radiation zone
|We visited the city of Novozybkov, known as the "radiation capital," where the Valetsky family conducts experiments showing that Biointensive reduces radiation in vegetables.
|GB compost and doubledigging reduce the radionuclide content of vegetables by 30%, according to VIOLA's experiments in this and 5 other gardens.
|We visited Novozybkov's Agricultural Teachers' College, where Ludmila spent a year as a young student
|All the trees were cut down after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, as they were radioactive. These young trees were planted later
|The college president, Ludmila, and art prof Svetlana Gorbacheva pose in front of student-produced frescoes. The college holds GB trainings by VIOLA and has an ecocenter
|Our radiation zone tour concluded with an early evening visit to Mglin, at the end of a long dirt road
|Our wonderful welcome to Mglin. (No car driver could do that....)
|The first peonies of the season, along the side of the Ryzhakovs' home
|The Ryzhakov son and daughter with their GROW BIOINTENSIVE experimental beds, and the horse-drawn plowed fields beyond
|Zoya Ryzhakova proudly displays the fine taxidermy work of another son, who is away at college
|Sergei Ryzhakov holds up his home-distilled vodka; milk from the family cow and wildcrafted mushrooms are on the table. We only tasted, as surely they were radioactive!
|From Bryansk, we also visited Domashovo, where VIOLA member Natalya Karyagina is school principal
|We (Romie, most of all) were deeply touched to be greeted by costumed students offering the traditional Russian greeting for honored guests, bread and salt, at the Domashovo school. Principal Natalya is in striped shirt at left
|Next came a delightful puppet show by the children featuring riddles about veggies
|Each of us was given a potholder, handmade by the students, appliqued with a fruit or vegetable and the year 2005. Oleg and Mark pose here with theirs
|Students and guests pose in front of an Earth Flag that the children made for Earth Day 2002 and Natalyaa had brought to Novo-Sin'kovo (near Moscow) for our workshop there that year
|Our next stop was Nikolaevka, the village where Natalya has her dacha. This elderly couple still grows most of their food (see their field in next photo), despite his stick and her crutch.