May 27, 2021

Dacha Contraband



Dacha Contraband
The only thing dangerous about parsley is that it can sometimes get caught in your teeth.  Photograph by Hanna Stolt via unsplash.com

With summer arriving in earnest and countless dachas being opened up across Russia, gardeners are perplexed about what they can and cannot plant. While the Russian government has tried to ban some pretty incredible things in the past, the federal government's recent ban on parsley growing has many confused. 

The good news is that the herb itself isn't illegal (home chefs can breathe a sigh of relief). What can get backyard farmers into trouble is growing the plant with the purpose of harvesting its seeds and producing oil, which can apparently be harmful to humans. 

Creating parsley oil can lead to significant criminal penalties: up to R40,000 (about $550 USD), 480 hours of community service labor, and even prison time. (We can't help wondering, would authorities then garnish the offender's wages?)

A similar issue occurred previously, when Russians realized they could be fined for growing common wild herbs such as dandelions and chamomile. Officials clarified that they would only enforce such laws in cases of garden neglect. 

You Might Also Like

Dacha Life
  • July 01, 2020

Dacha Life

A look at the history and cultural influence of dachas.
A Perfect Dacha Day
  • July 01, 2019

A Perfect Dacha Day

Some off-the-cuff dacha recipes for you (summer seems like too relaxed a time for exacting recipes).
9 Crazy Things Russian Lawmakers Have Tried to Ban
  • December 19, 2013

9 Crazy Things Russian Lawmakers Have Tried to Ban

Some Russian legislators have an unwavering faith in the ability of laws to rid society of all its evils. Noise? Bad news? The stench of garlic? The end of the world? No problem - just ban 'em all!
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955