Well, not long after the lockdown in the Moscow region was lifted, a good Russian friend invited me to the village about 75 miles north of Moscow that he and his family go to during the summer. We went to visit them and were told about pieces of land for sale in the village, and we also began to discuss the idea of starting a farm together.
The situation evolved quickly.
Here are some photos, which will end with a few more details:
Here this blogger, his wife, and two of their boys pose in front of the old house on the piece of village land we bought. (Taken from my Russian Instagram account).
You can go on a tour of the old house, in Russian, here.
Almost immediately after buying the old house a Moscow TV station came out to ask why on earth we would do something like that. 🙂
Unfortunately, the house can not be restored (this is the back of it). But we do hope to use some of the material for a future banya (Russian bathhouse), perhaps a gazebo for picnics, and also a barn for sheep.
So, we built a new house. Electricity, heat, and water coming soon. 🙂
Although running water is a future item, the house came equipped with a view that hasn’t been difficult to get used to.
The land had been left unused for ten years, so it took this blogger about two weeks of work with a hand scythe and some help from friends to get it cleared.
A big sky and fantastic sunsets, that my phone’s camera doesn’t do justice to.
Some tools from the old house used as decoration in the new house.
Three ancient cities are within an hour drive, including this spot which Ivan the Terrible ruled from more than 400 years ago.
The closest store is about 6 miles from the village, so a “truck-store” comes 3 times a week, honks the horn, and everyone runs from their houses and gets in line. I’m thinking they need to try ice cream truck music instead of the horn.
For farming, we decided to start off with quail. Here are some eggs in the incubator.
And the first hatching!
And some newborns! They are much bigger now. We now have an incubator full of eggs, some that are growing, and a couple hundred that are getting close to harvest.
The quail have started their very own Instagram account. Be sure to subscribe here.
We are bootstrapping, but we plan to add chickens, turkeys, and sheep in the coming months. Also, we are working on plans to acquire some more land and add some guest houses. Russians love to come out and relax in the village and we look forward to providing a family camp setting.
Of course, we were unsure how the village would receive us, but so far we have been blown away by how open and kind they have been. They are thrilled about new life coming to the village and the babushkas share zucchini and cucumbers from their gardens.
Here’s a Russian-language video I made about the village:
More updates to come! And we look forward to not only showing you photos and sharing news, but seeing you as our guest in the village.
**** If you are a foreigner living in Russia, and are thinking perhaps not about the village, but of owning your own apartment or house, my day job remains real estate, and I would love to be able to help you out. You can check out this post I wrote about Foreigners Owning Real Estate In Russia.