What is a family homestead?
A dimension of love on the Earth, a natural oasis, created by parents for their children and all future generations. A family homestead is one hectare of land, surrounded by a living fence (hedge).
The family homestead comprises a house and a garden, a comfortable place for raising a family and for retiring in old age. It is a person’s homeland on Earth, supporting good health, scientific innovation and social well-being (Tsapkov 2016). It provides food, fibre, medicine and materials using ecological principles, and it is relaxing (Semerenko 2015, Pozenenko 2016a). The family homestead fosters harmonious civic engagement (Kolganov 2017) and promotes feelings of love between parents and children (Richards 2010:165).
The idea of a family homestead was first put forward in the “Ringing Cedars of Russia”series, written by Vladimir Megre between 1996 and 2010. The series calls for each person to create their own family homestead, and many have responded, not just in Russia. Family homesteads now number in the tens of thousands (Pozanenko 2016b, Anastasia Foundation 2018). They have been described as “multi-generational homesteads practicing small-scale agriculture”, and also involve broad land reform (Davidov 2015).
In their ideal form, family homesteads are allocated for free lifetime use, to be passed on by inheritance, but not to be bought or sold. Family homesteads could be a cheap, positive measure to create affordable housing, long-lasting jobs, and ecological sustainability (Dimitriev & Karpov 2014) and present novel solutions to social, ecological and economic problems (Zadorin et al. 2014).