In most regions of the country, planting potatoes is common. And really, what's so special about that? Fields of hundreds of hectares have been plowed across Russia; dozens of farms are engaged in growing vegetables, but not in the Kuril Islands.
There were collective and state farms on Iturup in Soviet times, they cultivated cabbage and beets for sale to residents. But they didn’t deal with potatoes tightly, it was a “duty” of the Kurils themselves, who massively kept gardens and cottages in those days. For the sake of justice, it is worth saying that about fifty years ago there were potato fields, but they did not take root. Then, in the turbulent nineties, agricultural enterprises collapsed, farmers and homeowners appeared, and their vector of activity turned to livestock. There were small gardens in the private sector, and most of the Kuril people are used to buying vegetables in stores.
Some time ago, an intensive upsurge in agriculture began on Sakhalin. Sown areas for vegetables were restored, new livestock farms and greenhouses were built, and the Kurilians, as they imported potatoes from anywhere, continued to deliver. They decided to correct the situation in LLC “Continent”, the owners and managers of which themselves grew up in rural areas and can not imagine their life without their own, grown under the watchful supervision of vegetables. For several years now they have been holding a small garden and a farm at their enterprise.
But these were small volumes. The district government was supported by Continent LLC.
And so the Mayak farm was born - the desires and efforts of several interested people with the support of the district administration, and it was headed by Alexander Pidzhakov, one of the oldest employees of Continent. Continent also acted as the main investor of the agricultural enterprise - equipment was purchased: a tractor, plows, harrows, and also seeds. We decided in the first year, in addition to potatoes, to plant several thousand roots of cabbage seedlings. Seeds brought from Sakhalin. Zekura potatoes of the highest category, and cabbage - autumn, white, intended for long-term storage.
Field work began in May after the snow had melted and the ground had dried. For the first time, they decided to plow about three hectares of land from more than twenty owned by Continent LLC and leased to Mayak farm. The soils in the area of the Saratovka river, namely, there are potato and cabbage fields, are quite complex - they had to be plowed several times, far and wide, then harrowed and re-plowed. And it was also necessary to remove the stones and trunks of dry trees, lying in large numbers throughout the territory, but do not forget to look around - there are a lot of bears in those parts. The team at Mayak is small - five people - but for now. With an increase in sown area, he will also grow. On our own, even taking into account the availability of necessary equipment, it was difficult to cope with such a volume of work on plowing virgin lands. The investor came to the rescue again, but this time he helped not with finances, but with people and additional equipment.
On May 31, almost the first time on Iturup, about 7 tons of seed potatoes were planted in the ground. The next step is planting cabbage on a field of 0,3 hectares and the routine work of growing crops. It is good that the Colorado potato beetle - a thunder-storm of potatoes - and caterpillars and butterfly pests of vegetables were not seen on Iturup. This year, farmers want to do without the use of chemicals against pests and fertilizers to improve the soil - they decided to grow an environmentally friendly product. It is quite possible - and everyone at the enterprise understands this perfectly well - in the future it will be necessary to use both of them, the land will be depleted and without additional support will not be able to produce good crops. In the autumn, after the completion of all field work, it was decided to send soil samples for analysis of soil composition to a specialized laboratory in order to know exactly whether or not to apply mineral fertilizers for next year.
Half of the harvest will go to the investor in repayment of the costs incurred by him. And the second half will be implemented by farmers in the area. It is assumed that in the future agreements will be concluded with the district administration, and vegetables from the fields of the enterprise will be delivered to the canteens of schools and kindergartens and, of course, sold to retail and wholesale to the local population.
A source: https://www.sakhalin.info