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Mustard glade, an ecofarm in the Tula region

Bragging about your finds is not such a bad habit.

Especially if this find is unique.

Meet: «Mustard Glade» — the largest, really existing Russian eco-farm.

It all started with the fact that Alexander Brodovsky — a businessman, the owner of a network of stores of women’s clothing Woolstreet — “fell ill” with the idea of ​​permanent agriculture, or, briefly, permaculture, which implies the rational and most intensive use of the resources of a small plot of land.

Up to refusal from external sources of energy.

Inspired him to experiment experiment Sepp Holzer (Sepp holzer), farm owner Krameterhof (Krameterhof) in the Alps. At an altitude of 1100-1500 meters above sea level, an Austrian on 45 hectares of not the most convenient land was created by the real Eden.

Cherries bear fruit from May to September, cereals grow in the forest with all their might, radishes produce crops in the winter, and even kiwi feels great in one of the coldest places in Austria.

Alexander decided to try to implement this idea in the Tula region, where he was born and attended school. He bought 1,200 hectares of land from a former collective farm.

This land turned out to be immaculately clean, because it is located in the flood plain of the river and none of the kolkhoz agronomists took the liberty of cultivating a non-standard plot.

During the four years of the farm’s existence, many ideas were implemented, many had to be abandoned. Yes, and the term «permaculture» Alexander now prefers the concept of biodynamics.

At the same time, regardless of definitions, he simply tries to cultivate the land and raise livestock not according to the laws of nature, but according to them.

Even the frame in which he lives is built of wood harvested at the “right” time: in the winter on a waning moon.

Food in a hospitable home is simple and honest — everything that is served at the table is grown in Mustard glade. The only exception is the favorite green tea by Alexander, Alexander.

But who knows, maybe tea plantations will appear here soon.

On the farm Mustard glade 7 noble boars of the Duroc breed and 650 pigs live, not noble, just pretty.

The goal of the farmer is not to breed purebred herds for exhibitions, but to get strong, healthy livestock with high-quality and tasty meat, but because life for pigs is free and «freedom is unrestrained.»

Pigs live in the open all year round. 15-20 animals allocated for half a hectare of land. Refuge from the cold and rain — small squat mobile houses without a floor.

This know-how Mustard glade.

It is very easy to clean them: he raised such a house above the ground with the help of a simple lift and a tractor, brought order — and moved it to a new place, to a new corral.

A thick layer of straw harvested here is used as a litter, which is regularly changed.

Used straw does not disappear.

It is treated with kvass and herbal infusions, and after a while it turns into a wonderful compost.

As a feed, they use their own mixtures of cereals and legumes and fresh Jerusalem artichoke, from which the pigs simply blend.

Animals are divided into groups by age. Each group is in its own aviary. There are no fences, instead of fencing — pegs and between them a thin thread-wire, through which a weak current is passed.

Pigs are intelligent animals, they are afraid of the current, but those who are especially zealous and reckless still manage to jump out of the paddock and then rush around with joyful squealing and teasing their relatives and people.

The main backbone of the cow herd of 145 heads is 5 bulls of the oldest Scottish meat of the Galloway breed. They are more like bison than the usual Russian bulls.

They live in Spartan conditions, in the forest.

Although the farm is located in the center of the hunting farm, wild animals here for cows are not terrible — they are wild boars, roes, foxes and hares. True, these harmless animals have their own problems — infections. Because of the dangerous neighborhood, veterinarians insisted on constant vaccinations and “preventive treatment” of livestock.

But Alexander was adamant. As proof of the fact that cows and pigs do not need to be fed with antibiotics “for the future”, as a reserve, Brodovsky sent one of the doctors to Austria to his related ecofarm.

The doctor saw enough of the permaculture miracles familiar to Germany and returned to the Tula region as a different person.

Now he doesn’t even want to vaccinate farm animals.

Cows for grazing have a magnificent meadow and feed, which are neatly covered with a special film. It does not let in moisture, but passes air well, and the hay does not rot under it.

Cows in large pens move freely.

They don’t need a man, and they don’t know him, they keep clear and even get scared. “When the time comes,” says Alexander, “most likely they will need to be hunted in the forest with a gun.

So they will not come to us. ”

We can try the farmer’s beef no sooner than in 10 months, when the first calves will grow, fed exclusively with local feeds.

The farm grows potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, zucchini, pumpkin, including the Japanese Hokkaido variety (such a pumpkin can be eaten raw), Jerusalem artichoke, beets, beans, spicy greens, including a tart variety of rucola, and even watermelons.

The rich harvest is stored in special cellars. The groundwater level here is very high, so the cellars are built above the ground.

These are 12 halls of 18 square meters arranged in a single line. The rear part (wall) of the building «is buried» in an improvised hill.

Land for the mound was taken here, now in the place of the pit — a pond. All rooms with high arches, lined with stone, with a floor that is covered with oak boards.

Cellars are equipped with natural air conditioning. At a distance of 60 m from the cellar, pipes go to the ground, which are led into each of the 12 «rooms».

Due to the difference in temperature (indoors and in the air), as well as the difference in height, the air constantly circulates, so in the summer it is not hot in the cellar and it is not cold in winter. The average winter temperature inside the cellar is + 4 ° С.

There is no usual musty smell of vegetable base.

The vegetable kingdom is entirely on the shoulders of Alexander’s faithful companion, Tamara Viktorovna.

She proudly displays a rich harvest, including calibrated potatoes and onions.

And on the farm are very proud of their sauerkraut. For souring in Germany, special containers were purchased — ceramic “cans” of 40 liters. From above, along the mouth of the tank, there is a small groove that fills with water. And when the lid closes, the air does not get inside, but the gas goes fine — the effect of siphon.

And the cabbage is clean and fresh, without the usual upper layer.

Interestingly, such a design was invented for preservation conservation in ancient China, and zealous Germans prudently patented it.

Of course, on the farm a lot is still unfinished. Two large home for travelers, enthusiastic now fashionable ecotourism.

There are only walls and a roof and inside a kiln with tiles that are made by hand in Ferapontov Monastery. In the autumn on the first floor of the unfinished house they dried onions and garlic, and on the second floor — hay.

Here is the untargeted, but the master’s use of space.

In the plans: the transfer of cattle to the lush meadows of the Vladimir region, which is almost 900 hectares, and an increase in the herd population due to the crossing of local dairy cows and Galloway bulls. As well as combining with the local bird farm.

Brodovsky says: “We ourselves will not grow a bird. Not enough hands. But we have bioform.

We will supply them to our neighbor.

Birds will receive the status of biological products, and it will be sold along with our meat. ”

By the way, Alexander sells not only meat, sausages and vegetables, but also homemade bread. Let in a small amount, but what!

Wheat and rye are grown here themselves, and there is a mill.

The bread is amazing.

It is delicious and not stale for a long time.

The term «permaculture» is not only an abbreviation of the words «long-term (durable) agriculture» (eng. permanent agriculture), but also means “long-term culture”.

Permaculture ideologists are two Australians: Professor of Biogeography Bill Mollison (Bill Mollison) and his student David Holmgren (David Holmgren). In 1978, they published a book called Permaculture-1, where it was said that it was “a design system whose goal is to organize the space occupied by people on the basis of environmentally appropriate models.”

Each element of the system cannot exist by itself, its connections with the other elements are important.

And they should be placed as rationally as possible.

Inspirer and teacher of our hero Zapp Holzer (Sepp holzer) operates according to the principle: “My university is nature”. He often says that “a person cannot improve what is already perfect, you just need to learn to manage nature wisely”. The landscape of his farm is organized with the help of a system of lakes, stones and high ridges — heat traps, which consist of trunks and branches of trees covered with earth.

The microclimate created by him does not contradict the natural environment.

He is only her sequel.

One of Holzer’s innovative social projects has been implemented in Graz (Austria). He created a small permaculture garden in a boarding house for wheelchair users. Zapp helped to make high ridges, so that people with disabilities could look after them, sow and harvest themselves.

The effect of this project was amazing.

The psychological state of people has radically changed.

They felt an interest in life, felt their importance.

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