Russia has always been a great agricultural country. Russian agriculture produces almost all the farm crops known in the world. The total area under cultivation is largely occupied by grain crops such as wheat, maize, barley, rye, oats, etc. The rest is occupied by potatoes and other vegetables, legumes, fruits and industrial crops. In the orchards and fruit gardens one can see plums and apples, pears and peaches and berries of all kinds. Horses, oxen, cows and sheep feed in the meadows. Cattle farming gives us meat and milk. Poultry farming supplies us with eggs and meat.
The situation in agricultural system in Russia is not simple enough now. There are no state supported collective and state farms any more as it was during the Soviet period. Now there are agricultural joint-stock companies and individual farming. Russian agriculture is undergone the process of economical changes. It is rather difficult to survive in the conditions of deep economic crisis, especially for individual farmers. But we hope that country-men will overcome all the difficulties of our times and our agriculture will make steady advances, that will naturally mean better living standards for the Russian people.
England looks like one great well-ordered park. The hedges surrounding the gardens look beautiful in spring. In summer when they are covered with leaves and flowers they are even better. In autumn they are gold, brown and red. In winter they are still beautiful, especially in the early winter when you can see a few red berries. As to the English gardens they are extremely fine with wonderful variety of trees.
Englishmen like to preserve old trees. There are trees which were too old to be cut down for the building of ships in Cromwell's time that is in the 17th century. As the climate in Great Britain is very mild and there is much rain, the grass in Great Britain is much better than anywhere else. The country-side with its large green meadows and gardens with little country-houses and farms is very pleasant to look at.
Nature has always been a favourite theme for poets. Storms and adventures on the sea have inspired them to write stirring verses. Great forests have led them to write solemn songs. Mountains and valleys, hills and meadows, too, have given them inspiration. And, indeed, can you find anyone who would not be thrilled by the beauties of nature, who would not be stirred by the charms of shape, colour and motion?
I think everyone enjoys being out in the country. The-re is a great charm about gathering berries or looking for mushrooms in the silence of the wood. Perhaps you enjoy sauntering in the fields or rambling through the sweet-scented woods where as you move along you stop now and then to admire the white-stemmed birch trees or some blossoming shrubs. You may like climbing lulls or following strange trails or looking for unusual plants. At the top of each hill, at each turn in the trail you come upon something new, unexpected.
Perhaps you prefer watching insects, animals or birds. You may watch lines of busy animals as they carry bits of food to their lull-like home, or bees as they hover over flowers. The more you observe, the more you come to know about the beauty of the world around you, and you find a new interest in trees and flowers, fields and valleys and in the animals of the forest.
KEEPING OUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN
Many years ago people lived in harmony with the environment because industry was not much developed. Now the situation is quite different. People all over the world cannot ignore the problem of the protection of the environment because of modem industry and the need for energy. Newspapers and magazines write a lot about water pollution, air pollution and land pollution. There are some laws and decisions on this important question. There are state organisations and international conventions which pay much attention to this problem.
Many parts of the world are crowded now, much of our waste, especially waste from factories, electric power stations, the chemical industry and heavy industry are very dangerous. Fish dies in the lakes, rivers and seas, forest trees die too.
The problem of radiation has also become a very important problem because it is very dangerous for health of people. There is a science, named ecology, which study the relation between people and their environment. But each of us also must do everything possible to keep our environment clean for ourselves and for the next generations.