Articles / Co-operative gardens

Co-operative gardens

Subject / Topography/Villages

CO-OPERATIVE GARDENS, noncommercial organizations established in the form of noncommercial partnerships or consumers’ cooperatives (their activity is regulated by the federal laws “On Noncommercial Organizations” of Jan. 12, 1996 and “On Gardening, Vegetable Gardening, and Dacha Noncommercial Associations of Citizens” of March 11, 1998.) In practice, they are seasonal settlements, although formally they are not inhabited localities. C. G. have created a phenomenon of townspeople’s seasonal migrations, and a special culture of leisure including agricultural work on the plot. C. G. started to appear in the mid-1950s within the radius of 50 km from St. Petersburg on lands poorly accessible or unused in the agriculture. The Model Charter of a gardening partnership of manual and office workers was adopted in 1956. Some of the already existing vegetable gardens of townspeople were also converted into C. G. In the mid-1980s, allotment also of agricultural lands and recreation areas for C. G. started (in particular, with violations of environmental laws.) By now, the area of C. G. has increased from 14 sq. km in 1956 to nearly 500 sq. km, with many C. G. more than 100 km away from St. Petersburg. In the 1980s, residents of towns and many settlements of Leningrad Oblast began to set up their C. G. According to the survey made by TACIS, there were 2700 gardening communities in Leningrad Oblast by 2000 (540,000 plots, of which 62% belonged to St. Petersburg residents); they were united into 632 dacha-and-gardening settlements, of which 96 had over 1000 plots each (they had 77.5 % plots in all.) The largest massifs of C. G. (Mshinskaya, Pupyshevo, Posadnikov Ostrov, Sinyavino, Dunai etc.) comprising 10,000 to 30,000 plots had been formed by the early 1980s. C. G. are found in all districts of the Oblast (98047 plots in Vsevolozhsk District, 68720 in Kirovsk District, 65294 in Vyborg District, 58093 in Gatchina District, 48187 in Tosno District, 37 779 in Luga District.) Boksitogorsk and Slantsi Districts have no plots owned by St. Petersburg residents; Tikhvin District has 1.9% of such plots, Lodeynoye Pole District, 2.5%, and Kingisepp District, 5.5%. In a summer season, abt. 2 million people temporarily live in the gardening communities. Small-area plots (400–1000 sq. m) predominate in C. G. By the end of the 1980s, C. G. produced abt. 3% of the total oblast potato production, 7% of vegetables (25% of protected-ground vegetables), and 70% of fruit and berries. C. G. played an important role in food supply for individuals under the crisis of the 1990s. In 1995, the Agency for Gardening and Vegetable Gardening Development of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast was established (4/2 Diagonalnaya Street, St. Petersburg.) The government of St. Petersburg is implementing the dedicated program “Development of Gardening, Vegetable Gardening, and Dacha Noncommercial Associations of St. Petersburg Residents for 2003–2010.” In 2006-09, it was planned to allocate 125 million rubles annually for its implementation. The lack of the settlement status aggravate for C. G. such issues as transport accessibility, utility and social infrastructure (electric power supply, fire safety, waste disposal, water supply, medical care, and law and order), which were handled in the Soviet period with financial support from corporations and organizations that established the C. G. The interests of C. G. are represented by the interregional public organization “Union of Gardeners of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast” (established in 1998) providing training and skill upgrading of gardeners, festivals, exhibitions, and fairs on the basis of the “Russkaya Derevnya” center of gardeners and farmers (22 Narodnogo Opolcheniya Prospekt, St. Petersburg.)

A. Y. Chistyakov

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Leningrad Oblast, the/Boksitogorsk District
Saint-Petersburg City/Diagonalnaya Street
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vsevolozhsk District/Dunay Settlement
Leningrad Oblast, the/Gatchina District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kingisepp District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kirovsk District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Lodeynoye Pole District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Luga District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Luga District/Mshinskaya Settlement
Saint-Petersburg City/Narodnoye Opolchenye Prospekt
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kirishi District/Posadnikov Ostrov Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Volkhov District/Pupyshevo Village
Saint-Petersburg City
Leningrad Oblast, the/Kirovsk District/Sinyavino Urban Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Slantsi District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Tikhvin District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Tosno District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vsevolozhsk District
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vyborg District

Исаченко Г. А. «Окно в Европу»: История и ландшафты. СПб., 1998
Tacis Synergy - пилотные проекты. Проект TACIS «Территориальная организация агрорекреационных зон и трансформация садоводческих массивов в благоустроенные населенные пункты». URL:,

Subject Index
Union of gardeners of Saint Petersburg and the Leningrad Oblast

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