In 1996, a Russian merchant named Vladimir Megre boarded his ship and voyaged across the river Tomsk in Russia. Somewhere in the riverbanks of Siberia, he met a woman named Anastasia. Far from Megre’s prejudices of a woman from the countryside, Anastasia can access information regarding the society and the universe. As Megre recalled his encounter, she would lie down on the grass with eyes closed and in a little while, she’s able to give answers to the questions people asked.

Anastasia maintains that she is a human being, a child of God, and that all her abilities are also possessed by a human being, too. To her, the way to solve the problem of the world is for each family to acquire a hectare of land and there, they ought to reside. She calls this plot, Family Homestead. This land, according to her, must be developed by the family who lives there and they should get their consumption from their own garden. The garden should also have various kinds of fruit trees and vegetable and there should also be a small plot for cereal or grain.

Among the many things that caught my great interest to Anastasia is her simple but highly profound concepts. In the book one of the Ringing Cedars of Russia, Anastasia outlined simple ways to communicate with the plants so that, according to her, the plants will be able to identify the elements of the body that the person who planted it needs. This way, the plants will communicate with the cosmos and the depths of the Earth to get from there the nutrition that the human being needs.

There are many other things that she spoke about in the 10-part series of the Ringing Cedars of Russia. The Family Homestead sounds so incredible at first, but if one will take a closer look on the idea. It can solve the food problem and there is no more need to engage in artificial farming methods, like mono-cropping, just to address the challenges of food. While Anastasia predicted around the year 2000 that by the turn of the century, the president of Russia will declare that a one hectare land will be given to interested families who are willing to create their own garden. In May 2016, news came out of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s giving away a hectare of land in Far East and Siberia to interested families.

This Family Homestead movement is spreading like the fire of Zarathustra in Russia. One hectare of land is the right size for the family to cultivate without needing bulldozers and huge farming equipment.

Here in the Philippines, our indigenous tribes have been doing the same, save that their outline is not only for the family, but for the whole community.

I can only imagine 40 percent of our families in he country will be given one hectare of land for free, I bet there will be no more need for us to buy food from other countries. We own a rich agricultural landscape and our children deserve good food right from our land. It is indeed sad why we resort to heavy industrialization when all we need to do is to use the land wisely and seriously tend it because our lives depend on it.

The Family Homestead, if we take it on as a country, will surely make us grow. We can just see how people like Jojo Rom, Kahayag Farms, La Fermette, and other urban gardeners thrive with their small garden plot, how much more if we all take up the land, consciously touch Mother Earth, and plant the seeds we need for our food. I must agree now that planting your own food is like printing your own money.

Perhaps it is high time now that we contemplate about this idea from the woman of Siberian Taiga, it must be that the way back to nature is the way back to peace and harmony inside and outside of ourselves.

Joan Mae Soco-Bantayan is a mother of two and a nurturer at Tuburan Institute. For questions, comments. and suggestions, please feel free to email her at hello@joanmaesoco.comor visit Tuburan Institute at

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