Russia’s Black Earth Zone has long been renowned as one of the world’s most fertile agricultural regions. Its humus-rich, mineral-packed soil would therefore seem to make this area the perfect place for a private farmer to make a mark. But then, there is so much more to farming than dirt.
The village of Zenkino, in Lipetsk Oblast’s Chaplygin District, has just six streets and 492 residents (according to the 2010 Russian census).
“Not even that many anymore,” says villager Vladimir Zavalishin.
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