"In Russia there comes the hope of the world, not as that sometimes termed of the communistic, or Bolshevik, no; but freedom, freedom! That each man will live for his fellow man! The principle has been born. It will take years for it to be crystallised, but out of Russia comes again the hope of the world.
On Russia’s religious development will come the greater hope of the world. Then that one or group that is the closer in its relationship [with Russia] may fare the better in gradual changes and final settlement of conditions as to the rule of the world.
... for changes are coming, this may be sure — an evolution, or revolution in the ideas of religious thought. The basis of it for the world will eventually come out of Russia; not communism, no! But rather that which is the basis of the same, as the Christ taught — His kind of communism!" -Edgar Cayce
Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture, there is no possibility of a stable social order. Thus, the move from productive permanent systems (where the land is held in common) to annual, commercial agricultures where land is regarded as a commodity, involves a departure from low- to a high-energy society, the use of land in an exploitative way, and a demand for external energy resources, mainly provided by the third world (Mollison, Introduction to Permaculture). It provides a framework for an alternative paradigm of living than that which we live in today. On the international level, perhaps the biggest news for permaculture is the widespread adoption of permaculture by the Anastasia movement in Russia.
The Anastasia Movementis inspired by the nine books in the Ringing Cedar Series written by Vladimir Megre. Megre claims to have met a mysterious young woman named Anastasia on the bank of the River Ob in 1994. She reportedly led him deep into the Siberian taiga, where she revealed her philosophy on Man's relationship to Nature, the Universe and God, as well as lifestyle, education, nutrition, spirituality, love, family, sexual relations and plants.
The spiritual affinity within the communities of the Ringing Cedars movement lies in their vision of re-establishing “Motherland,” an eco-culture where every person is fulfilling their role as a Divine Co-Creator. As readers go deeper into the series, Anastasia begins to reveal the path back to the state of a Creator Being, teaching about “The Science of Imagery,” of empowering our creative ability with pure thought, feelings, and a loving relationship with Nature. She also shares her stories about the history of the People of Earth, of the priests who led us into the Occult Age that is just now ending, and of the Beauty that was found in the gardens and rituals of an ancient Vedic race (The Bovine).
She promotes that every person has the right to a small parcel of land to grow their own food, build their own house, and raise their family, without taxes. She calls these family parcels “Kin’s Domains”, and this is one of the major parts of her message (Friends of the Earth, 1997). In 2003 the Russian President signed into law a further “Private Garden Plot Act” enabling Russian citizens to receive free of charge from the state, plots of land in private inheritable ownership. Sizes of the plots differ by region but are between one and three hectares each [1 hectare = 2.2 acres]. Produce grown on these plots is not subject to taxation. A subsequent law to facilitate the acquisition of land for gardening was passed in June 2006 (Megre).
Leonid Sharashkin, editor of The Ringing Cedars Series’ English editions and a doctoral student in Agroforestry, is able to share with us the massive impacts of this gardening movement in the larger context of Russia’s agricultural economy:
“Currently, with 35 million families (70% of Russia’s population) working 8 million [hectares] of land and producing more than 40% of Russia’s agricultural output, this is in all likelihood the most extensive microscale food production practice in any industrially developed nation.
According to official statistics, in 1999 more than 35 million families (105 million people, or 71% of country’s population) owned a dacha or a subsidiary plot and were cultivating it… The 35 million plots of these families occupy more than 8 million hectares and provide 92% of Russia’s harvest of potatoes, 77% of its vegetables, 87% of berries and fruits, 59.4% of meat, and 49.2% of milk.
When you look at the contribution of gardening to the national economy as a whole, it’s even more stunning,” Sharashkin said. “In 2004, gardeners’ output amounted to 51% (by value) of the total agricultural output of the Russian Federation. This represents 384 billion rubles (approx. US$14 billion!!!), or 2.3% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is greater, for example, than the contribution of the whole of electric power generation industry (317 bn rubles), significantly greater than all of forestry, wood-processing and pulp and paper industry (180 bn), significantly greater than the coal (54 bn), natural gas (63 bn) and oil refining (88 bn) industries taken together. The share of food gardening in national agriculture has increased from 32% in 1992 to over 50% by 2000” (The Bovine).
“Essentially, what Russian gardeners do,” he concludes, “is demonstrate that gardeners can feed the world – and you do not need any GMOs, industrial farms, or any other technological gimmicks to guarantee everybody’s got enough food to eat. Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the US, for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today, however, the area taken up by lawns in the US is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry” (The Bovine).
The cooperatives get the best farmland and the land given to the dachniks (people who have country houses and small bits of land where they produce food on weekends and after work, called dachaus) is generally poor-quality land. On 7 percent of the agricultural land footprint they are producing 54 percent of the food. (Friends of the Earth, 1997).
Anastasia was born in 1969 in the remote Siberia wilderness to parents who both died in a forest accident shortly after her birth. This amazing girl has ever since fended for herself, watched over only by her grandfather, great grandfather and a variety of "wild" animals. he has stunned audiences with her highly developed and very unusual powers - including remote viewing, mind reading, direct access to "Universal Memory", perfect physical health and the use of mental imagery to create future events - and she says these powers (and many more) are innate in all human beings and anyone can develop them if they wish. She reveals just how in the books.
Anastasia is what some would call a “fully-realized human being”, or at least getting close. We could also call her a super-human being. She has the ability to translocate her body, not only to other places on the earth, but to other planets in other solar systems. She has the ability to see at a distance and many other extraordinary abilities.
The story includes the classic battle between Light and Dark. Anastasia, a light-being, is doing battle with a lineage of dark priests that stretch back to Egypt and who are the main force keeping humanity in the dark. Anastasia is fighting for the whole human race. She has super-human allies, but she will only let them help her so far. Anastasia has a message similar to one attributed to Jesus Christ. She says, All these things I do, you can do and more. Anastasia says “I am human and all humans have divine capabilities”.
Anastasia is deeply in love with the Earth. She connects with all the life forms around her. She can communicate with the wild animals and they willingly serve her. A bear is her son’s maid. Wolves protect them. Squirrels gather food for her. An eagle takes her baby high into the sky to show him the earth from the air. She says that the animals serve man because of the love man bestows on them in return. Animals deeply desire and appreciate human love.
In Book 6, page 254, Anastasia says "To be healthy, one must feed one’s self with lovingly grown produce". Anastasia points out many times that eating food grown on corporate, mechanized farms is not good for our health or our spirit.
One other bit of esoteric advice from Anastasia is that gardeners should put a few seeds of a crop they are about to sow into their mouth for nine minutes and moisten it with their saliva. Then it is held in the hand for another minute. The seeds get imprinted with that person’s health and nutrition needs and the plant then grows to fill that specific person’s food and healing needs. All the seeds do not have to be held in the mouth, just the first ones for each crop that is sown. Anastasia spends a lot of time talking about falling in love, choosing a partner, conscious conception, how birthing should be done (just the parents preferably, with midwives and family members hovering outside), education, selecting a kin’s domain and spiritual development. A lot of things that some permculturists call zone 0.
Megré's ideas are similar to those of Russia's agricultural economist Alexander Chayanov eighty years earlier, referring to harmonious relationship with nature based on sustainable rural settlements consisting of individual family-owned homesteads. Further, it echoes the "Village Republics" that Gandhi encouraged; Gandhi's vision of a free India was not a nation-state but a confederation of self-governing, self-reliant, self-employed people living in village communities, deriving their right livelihood from the products of their homesteads. Maximum economic and political power-- including the power to decide what could be imported into or exported from the village-- would remain in the hands of the village assemblies. In addition to Russia, Anastasia centers can be found in Australia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States. This is a movement to watch-- and join!
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The Bovine. "In 1999, 35 million small family plots produced 90% of Russia’s potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruits, 59% of meat, 49% of milk — way to go, people!" Aug. 9, 2009. Accessed Feb. 28, 2012. a href="http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/in-1999-35-million-small-family-plots-produced-90-of-russias-potatoes-77-of-vegetables-87-of-fruits-59-of-meat-49-of-milk-way-to-go-people/%3E">http://thebovine.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/in-1999-35-million-small-...;.