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4th August 2012

spiritual permaculture dvdReconnecting to Nature through Spiritual Permaculture is a DVD presentation in which Dr Leonid Sharashkin explores the extraordinary explosion of permaculture gardening in Russia. The success of the dacha garden movement was partly inspired by the revelations of Anastasia, a beautiful young woman with amazing perceptual powers, who was discovered in 1995 living alone in the remote, wild forests of Siberia.

She imparted her extensive knowledge of untapped human potential to an entrepreneur on a quest to find the sacred Siberian Cedar trees, which reportedly after 500 years of growth have begun to audibly ring or vibrate. After meeting Anastasia, Vladimir Megre abandoned his venture and began writing down her messages to the world in nine volumes called The Ringing Cedars of Russia. Dr Sharashkin is the editor of the Anastasia series in English and the translator of Schumacher's Small is Beautiful and The Secret Life of Plants into Russian.

In this presentation he shares his insights into Russia’s gardening revolution where 35 million families or 70% of the population is growing 51% of all agricultural produce on just 7% of agricultural land. In comparison, corporate farms require 83% of available land, while independent farmers claim the remaining 10%. Paradoxically, the percentage of food grown by people is increasing as the rate of land available to them decreases. Recent figures suggest that Russian gardeners grow 54% food on 3% of marginal land.


An average 600km sq dacha garden plot complete with cold frames and a greenhouse yields 2000lbs of potatoes, 700lbs of veg, 200lbs of fruit and 500 quarts of milk every year.  This abundance is achieved by very advanced yet simple, well thought-out growing methods designed for Russia’s very short growing seasons, just 110 days from May to September, or between the first and last frosts.

According to official data from the Russian Federal Statistics Agency, 92% potatoes, 77% vegetables, 87% of berries and fruits, 60% meat, and 49% milk come from family run gardens. However, this is still not enough to persuade economists that dacha permaculture gardening is the way to go.

sharashkinleonid22Sharashkin has been transformed by reading the Anastasia books. He was set to embark on a career in the oil industry but has switched to forestry and lives in beautiful log cabin east of Moscow, which he built himself. He draws on his family’s experience of dacha gardening, which has strengthened the connections between his parents, their children and grandchildren, who can see the trees their grandparents planted 20 years ago.

Dacha gardens are more than just fleeting hippy communes. The Ringing Cedars Movement encourages families to buy land and design vibrant eco-villages called Kin’s Domains, where in the ever-changing landscape of the seasons communities create fulfilling, connected and independent lifestyles, grounded in self-sufficiency to be handed to the next generation. There are now 150 Kin’s Domains in Russia, and Sharashkin argues that if more people were allowed to buy larger plots of land a powerful spiritual and economic transformation would occur.

Boris Pasternak, author of Dr Zhivago, dug his dacha garden as a 'spiritual survival path'. And, as Sharahkin points out, both rich and poor do this. Edgar Cayce (1877-1945), the celebrated psychic and proponent of holistic health, believed in the future of Russia. Cayce predicted that, 'Through Russia’s spiritual development comes a great hope for the world.'

Reconnecting to Nature through Spiritual Permacultre DVD (£14.95) is available from This article was first published by Caduceus Magazine