Belarusian life of hermits in their own land

Belarusian hermit life on the earth.  Photo: / Maxim MalinovskyThey only vaguely heard of the economic crisis in the world and the country. People see once a month in the winter — even rarer. In a small hut, covered fallen leaves, there is no electricity, water, gas. But the medieval way of life, it appears, does not stop to be happy. Tamara and Yury Boiko, farmers hermit, two decades ago, decided to create a family business and went bankrupt. Lost an apartment, a house in the village, in short, everything. Their only refuge was his own land in the Rossony district …

Lost people

— The story is typical of our era of perestroika, we lost generation — says smiling scrawny little man with yellow hair vsklochennymi who introduced farming Yuri. — I am from Leningrad, but the city has never been in love. Working with recyclable materials for the winter season quietly earning a comfortable seven months of rural life and his wife went to stay with relatives in the village Yuhnovichi located near here. At first, just relax came after bought a house, got livestock, cow in the barn appeared, then they have become five. Then officially you can keep just one cow. I drive my mouth, and my neighbor shouted: "Rent Out, Yurko, cows in the farm. Nasta tabe so much? '. Envy, in general.

Here then slammed restructuring, begun to emerge farmers' movement. I, without thinking twice, has written to Moscow, Gorbachev. A week from Vitebsk came two black "Volga", of which poured round the stall "comrades." Talk to me, consulted with each other and with the fly given 50 acres of land.

Yuri K. realized that in order to start a business will require major investment, and went all-in. In 1991, he sold the apartment in Leningrad, a house in the village and Yuhnovichi along with 16-year-old daughter and his wife went to cultivate their land.

Farmers — extremals

— Desperate we were — says the farmer's wife, Tamara Fedorovna. — To our land even a proper road was trodden. Cows and other livestock were driven self-feed all day. They came in the evening quite exhausted, lay down under a tree and fell asleep. Statement did not think it was necessary to livestock "register." Elementary built corrals, and themselves slept on blankets near the fire, postelennuyu to spruce fir twigs. If was rain — oilcloth covering.

— With him at the time I was a kilo of flour, nails, rusty hammer, ax and wire — laughing farmer. — Try to bare bottom turn! A month later, dragged old boards, bricks, a couple of logs from the forest, the shed was built over the last month in which we live today. Then, of course, thought this patch …

At first, everything went perfectly. Despite not being too comfortable living environment, the economy expanded, and by 1998, only cows was 15, there was a car. Meanwhile, the neighboring farm hirel gradually — from 90 cows that existed there originally, there was only 29.

— A few years in my "farm laborers" lived three homeless, — says Yuri Konstantinovich. — In the field helping with cattle managed, bath built. Work for food, shelter, plus daily they had half a liter "on the nose" to put down.

My wife and I have put my hands cattleman size is 2 times bigger than our apartment building, two greenhouses, built a spacious cellar.

But gradually, the demand for Belarusian goods we began to fall, Russia is also not the case went. At some point we realized that we have to work almost at a loss. As it happened — I can not imagine. People had to dissolve, most cows to sell part of the land — to return …


House in which they live hermit Boyko, really far from the choir. Its area — less than usual garage, just enough that two cot, where farmers are sleeping, dining table and made from "what was" so covered with clay oven. Along the walls — shelves. They — useful in the economy things, books, cats, and cats. In the small window knocked out a third glass, holes patched tape and rags.

— It's goats to blame, — says Yuri K. — then scratch their antlers on the wall, then ask for food, beat, and that's povybivali …

Place where there is a small house-outhouse, built more than two decades ago, the picturesque. On the one hand — the river, the other — a pine forest on the sides — the water meadow and marsh. Near the house — two huge tree under them — remains lined with boulders foundations: say, a hundred years ago there was a strong peasant farmstead. Across the river, by the way, is Russia, to the nearest village in Belarus — kilometers twelve.

— The land that you see around you — swamp, meadow, field, this is my land — about 5 acres — proudly takes us on his domain Yury Boiko. — This year, one and a half acres of potatoes planted in 3-5 hectare radishes, beans, cabbage, beets, and other vegetables. Had a couple of acres of strawberries for his granddaughter. In fact, we have this crop for five years is enough, we are giving away, and most of the beast to feed.

Around the yard, chasing a bird, runs granddaughter Boyko — she came to a woman with her grandfather to rest for the weekend. The daughter of farmers have long moved to the village to live, could not stand the "Extreme", married, living in his house. She regularly visits his parents, brings them food and stuff, a must have in daily life goes back with goodies collected from the garden and woods ….

Yuri K. laments that the forest is not the same, says the cause is global warming. Before he could for the season to 1.5 tons mushrooms, aspen and boletus collect, and now, according to him, the forest "empty".

To confirm his words hermit shows results hike on mushrooms a couple of weeks ago — "just" a bag of dried mushrooms and aspen mushrooms! Is this crop?

Right next to the house he built farmer mushroom farm — threw an old birch bark scraped, scattered it around the stump. After a couple of years at this place has grown a whole meadow mushrooms.

— How many living creatures have, I honestly do not know — admits Tamara F. — ducks, geese and chickens do not believe two cows, goats heads, perhaps twenty. And we do not have time to conduct accounting, working from morning to night. Pension for six months did not remove from the account — hands do not reach. Now here we go, we get money, savings add, buy a bull.

Hermit farmers are preparing for winter. Trees, standing at their little house, generously peppered him with leaves. These leaves raked to the walls, and by mid-November the house is almost completely buried under them — a natural insulation. Boyko soon insert broken window panes and hang a blanket over the door.

— In winter, of course, the cold, the wood has to throw up all day — said Tamara Fedorovna. — But there is nothing on the right. With us are 4 cats and two dogs will live!
As a family located in several feet of living space — the mind boggles.

With the wolves agreed with people — not yet

Forest predators hermit Boyko not touch. Although the first time Wolves went in circles, howling every night, and sometimes sheep and goats were lost. Secret knowledge of how to deal with wild animals, the farmers gave the now deceased grandfather, who lived on a farm nearby.

— It can be seen in the end we are with them to determine who the owner of what territory — laughing Yuri K.. — For fifteen years we wolves do not touch. With people problems too, consider, no, I'm all these years without locks live. First got into trouble just a couple of weeks ago — I have a boat was stolen. Whites went to the forest to collect, back-boat no. I yell, "Grandma, the boat was gone!". And she goes, one oar in hand holding, shoulder shrugs. They say all we now have no boat … call the police. Sought-looking, it appeared that the thieves pull it away failed. A day to me by my local friends boat fishermen pulled — and I told them yes potatoes other vegetables slept.

Boyko lively interest in what happens to the "mainland."
— In the country's crisis, say? — He asks. — I honestly do not know, I had a month and a half the unit does not work — the batteries are exhausted. In general, I have all these crises are concerned, potato growing, chickens geese is — I do not die of hunger.

In the 1990s, dashing near ground Boyko held trail of smugglers. The day could pass a few dozen cars loaded with a wide variety of goods from Russia to Belarus and back. According to the farmer, and passenger cars went, and trucks. Sometimes even KAMAZ. On the one hand, it was a hectic narodec — for each eye so the eye is necessary. On the other — all needed some help, and paid products, which were brought to Russia: who is a couple of sticks of dry sausage will who electronics who are building materials. Flow of vehicles smuggling mangle when the wooden bridge broke laden gas stoves KAMAZ and collapsed bridge … never recovered, and the nearest Russian village where my daughter lives Boyko, from that time can only be reached by boat …

It is a matter for the evening. Boyko sits in a boat crosses the river and takes away from the other side's daughter, who came to pick up her granddaughter.

It's time to go home and to us. In parting, we have with farmers hermit is interesting dialogue:
— If you could offer you 3-bedroom apartment in the center of Minsk, threw it all?
— Of course not — surprised farmer issue. — I live here peacefully, his own master, no one interferes. Why do I need this apartment? (Laughs).
— I, too, this apartment is a gift not needed — supports her husband Tamara Fedorovna.
— And here are sick, how will you be treated?
— Do not get sick, we thank God for all the years I have, in my opinion, has never caught a cold — is responsible Tamara Fedorovna. — The neighboring villages and sore throats and flu go, but do not look to us, O Lord save us! And no … Still grandfather once sick! Five years ago, a cow milked in the morning, felt ill, barely came up to the house and lay down on the bed. So two weeks and lain. Then he stood up — and back to work.
— What will you do when the very old will become?
— So we will work — confidently declares Yuri K.. — Mushrooms collect, any grass, berries. Chickens on the farm will leave behind them practically watch something and do not. And if at all it will be bad — until we reach the river, which will catch fish, sit down …. So early to think about it now — just something to me 64!

Dmitry Korsak. Photo by Maxim Malinovsky. Original:

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