Female Food Hero: Ratifa Islamova, Bashkir Republic, Russia


Ratifa is just like any other woman who works for the good of her family. However, if you take a closer look at her life, you’ll be astonished to find out how much Ratifa manages to do every day. Where does she get the energy to go about her day? You will never see Ratifa sitting idly, since she is always busy doing something. more...


Natalia Koryagina, Domashovo village, Bryansk region, Russia


After teaching herself to cultivate organic vegetables in her kitchen garden, Natalia Koryagina, a local geography teacher, has won national recognition for her work promoting new agricultural techniques in kitchen gardens, and providing training to local women on the use of these techniques. more...

Tatyana Bukhantsova

Whatever happens, it's for the best: Tatyana Bukhantsova, Kavkazskaya village, Krasnodar region


Tatyana Bukhantsova: an energetic, positive-thinking, and creative woman who does a great job with whatever she takes on, the sort of person who gives you hope and makes you start believing in good and victory. Since 1988, Tatyana has been working as a teacher of extra-curricular activities in the Children’s House of Arts in the Kavkazskaya village in the Krasnodar region. There are four members of her family: Tatyana herself, her husband and two children aged 21 and 17. more...

Maria Kuchub

Diligence is the key to success: Maria Kuchub, retired, Novolabinskaya village, the Ust-Labinsk region


Maria has had a hard life, and her whole family has always depended on her. She’s lived a life full of challenges and problems. When her mother died, she had to take care of the household. After an accident in which she fell and broke her ribs, she was forced to work anyway. She didn’t even know she had broken ribs until after they'd already healed. She was left deaf in one ear after a seed somehow got into her ear and sprouted. more...


Lyudmila and Sergey Matiny, Tyungur village, Republic of Altay: “Altay Kalash”


We pulled up to a solid house with beautiful gates and flowers in the yard. Kids were milling around at the entrance, and the youngest of them was Timofey – Lyudmila and Sergey’s grandson. “We have a big family, but the children are living on their own now. They live in the city and don’t want to live here in the village. But we brought our grandson here; we want to raise him, for now, anyway. He’ll eat healthier here. All together, we have three children and two grandsons. We don’t have a big garden and livestock right now, but we used to. We don’t have the energy for it anymore.” more...

Valery Petrushchenko

Valery Petrushchenko, Zamulta village, Republic of Altay: “Self-made”


Valera (short for Valery) is a craftsman who lives in a spacious wooden house, keeps bees, breeds goats and tends a garden. “My wife Olga and I don’t need much. If we have 500 rubles to last us a week, it’ll be a good week, since we can buy tea, cookies and bread. We produce everything else ourselves. I have the beehives right in my garden, and the bees hibernate in the house’s basement, where I also store potatoes in the winter. I have 16 bee families, and they provide me with plenty of honey. We drink goat milk every day, and make cottage cheese to give to our neighbors and friends. We have enough of everything. Plus, I can always swap honey for berries and fish.


Irina Tsarenko

Irina Tsarenko, Zamulta village, Republic of Altay: Yegorka


Irina and I sat at a table made from cedar in a new wooden house built by Irina’s husband Oleg. The couple has a son who is 3.5 years old. He’s an active boy. While Ira (short for Irina) was sharing her thoughts about food with me, he was busy painting a picture of his parents, house and mountains, and showing us his toys. Among Yegorka’s (nickname for Yegor) toys, there were quite a few hand-made ones. Everything in the house was actually hand-made! And when you look out the window there, Zamulta offers you a marvelous mountain view. more...

Vitaly Rodkin

Vitaly Rodkin, Ust-Koksa village, the Altay Republic: We have the earth


Early in the morning, a car parked next to my house, and a minute later Vitalik (short for Vitaly) was standing at my door holding two 3-liter cans filled with fresh milk straight from a cow. “Hold on, I'll bring sour cream and cottage cheese, too,” he said. This well-built and decisive man – Vitaly Rodkin – hasn't even hit 30 yet, but he's already a father of four. more...

Alyona Bedenova

Alyona Bedenova, Tyungur village, Republic of Altay: One heart


Alyona is a very cheerful and active woman, and she’s always busy with something around the household. She has two cows, a couple of calves, two goats, five sheep, a horse, chickens, and a big garden. more...


Mikhail Petrov, Nizhny Uymon village, Republic of Altay: We were born to help each other


Mikhail started his interview with this phrase and then went on to explain, “I’m actually a romantic, and I’m not going to change and become callous at 58. My soul is young, and my body, well, it’s aged of course. But that’s no cause for concern.  I think the most important thing for every person is willpower: if a person has it, anything is possible!” more...

Leonid Kaloshin

Leonid Kaloshin, Ust-Koksa Village, Republic of Altay: Life mission


Leonid Kaloshin is an incredibly interesting person. A former civil pilot, he's very cheerful. He's also a person with very strict principles, and at the same time, a person who has made his dream come true. “I always wanted to create a library, a place where both children and adults could go; a place that would be bursting with life, and where the desire for knowledge would never subside.” Leonid made this place a reality – it's located in the village of Ust-Koksa on Sunny Street. more...

Tatiana Chernikova

Tatiana Chernikova, Ust-Koksa village, Altay Republic: Vicious circle or logical cycle?


We just had a real June downpour, and the air is still filled with revitalizing moisture. We can even see a rainbow in the distance. I’m talking with Tatiana Chernikova – a charming and energetic woman. She's the type of woman about whom people say, “She’s got the look.” Tatiana will turn 40 this year, and she's raising a son. She's a trained tailor and  a true craftswoman – she sews very well, assembles models, makes ceramics and paints, and on top of all that, she’s a good cook. Anything she does, she does it well. more...

Galina Zaripova

Galina Zaripova, Bashtala village, Republic of Altay: Nothing else to give up


A nice-looking woman dressed modestly but tastefully walked out of a grocery store with a nearly empty shopping bag. Her name is Galina Zaripova, and she's a mother of three, an engineer and a mathematician. She is 42 and lives in the small village of Bashtala – not far from Ust-Koksa, our regional center. more...

Svetlana Arkhipova

Svetlana Arkhipova, Novosibirsk region, Suzunsk district, Malyshevo village (on the Ob River)


Svetlana Arkhipova lives in the Malyshevo village, where she was born and lived her whole life.  She has two sons, one of whom is 7 years old and the other 13. Svetlana works in the Malyshev medical clinic as a nurse. more...

Svetlana Kruchkova

Big Food Conversation: Svetlana Kryuchkova's Interview


Svetlana Kryuchkova, born in 1950. Soviet and Russian theater and film actress, acclaimed artist of the NIS (1991). She was awarded with the Pushkin medal for significant contribution to the development of national theater and long-lasting devotion to the profession. more...

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