From Russia with love for organic farming

Express News Service

KANNUR: The sight of a Russian couple toiling on the farm wearing lungies and a towel tied on their heads has become the talk of the small village, Adikadalayi, a few kilometres away from Kannur town, these days. They watch the passion of the couple, Bogdan Dvorovyi, 24, and Alexandra Chebbotareva, from St Petersburg, as they try hard to master the art of organic farming from seasoned farmer E V Haris, 65, who runs a homestay, Sea Shell, at Adikadalayi, with a bit of admiration and curiosity.

“You can sit inside your room and read a book. You also can travel deep into the world and get to know about people and different types of lives around you. Here, I am having a new experience. Here, you can see the life,” said Bogdan, pointing to the soil where he along with Alexandra, has been cultivating vegetables.

The Russian couple came to know about the farm of Haris through the website Worldwide Opportunities On Organic Farms India. Haris had registered his farm on the site some time back and was not really expecting a hardworking Russian couple to come calling at his place. “When they expressed their wish to know more about this, I offered them a stay at my ancestral home. I told them that they should not expect a luxurious stay. They came, and much to the surprise of many, soon transformed into full-time farmers,” said Haris.

“I am not new to farming as my parents are farmers,” said Bogdan. “Before coming to India, I had travelled to Turkey during Covid and stayed with a man, who is an expert in beekeeping,” said Bogdan. When he returned to St Petersburg from Turkey, Bogdan wrote a book, ‘The Seed,’ in Russian, about Nature and human beings. “What astonishes me is the commitment of the couple. They get up early and start work on the farm. They don’t hesitate to get themselves muddied. They are not averse to carrying cow dung to the field. They simply relish their work,” said Haris.

It was during one of his travels that Bogdan met his wife Alexandra, who is also passionate about farming and nature. “This is not a break from our routine. This is life. We are so happy to be here. The farming here is new to us and we are learning this with the support of Haris, who is like a father to us,” said Bogdan.

“I would like to say ‘Namaskaram’ to Rajam Muthassi, of Thiruvananthapuram, who was so loving towards us during our stay in Thiruvananthapuram,” said Bogdan, while saying good bye. Both Bogdan and Alexandra will stay at Haris’s farm for a couple of months.

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