9 Working In A Soviet Collective Farm

Working In A Soviet Collective Farm

In Soviet times many people from the cities were working for collective farms and vegetable warehouses all the year round. They also helped old people in their work in the fields cutting the ground, sowing, and collecting potatoes, cabbages till the late autumn.

Engineers and other specialists were made to participate in harvesting, cleaning cows and other animals. But citizens of the city couldn’t treat them properly and got multiple traumas. Cattle were injured a lot as well. In the end, the Soviet authorities decided to separate the two species and return engineers back to the cities.

Sometimes people were sent to the village for 1 day only which was considered by them the best. A bus approached an institute in the early morning and employees were taken to a remote field where they had to collect vegetables under the rays of flaming sun.

People were slowly moving across the field towards a forest. Some of them came back as they lost their knives or injured themselves or fell into the nettle. The truck was slowly filled with full sacks with vegetables. Finally the people could back to their city.

However, the major part of works was carried out by shift teams. Every Moscow organization had to deal with a collective farm. The farm met the Moscow employees, provided them with a residential place, food, transport and paid them salaries for help in the fields.

The first group was sent to the villages in June, the last one – in November. 10-15 people left the city for 10 days so that they could work on

People had various attitude to the trips. Some could hardly stop crying while others couldn’t wait for their journey to start as they could have a rest from their drawings and families and spend some time in the fresh air. Due to the trips work in the city organizations almost stopped in summer.

Management of institutes could also hire some employees who were sent to the villages for quite a longer period of time but they joined local drunkards soon and were not willing to do anything useful.

Any collective farm consisted of a conglomerate of different agricultural lands and included many villages, fields, farms, warehouses, etc. The central and largest village was occupied by the chairman whose building could be easily recognized by the monument to Lenin standing in front of it.

To inhabitants of Moscow all the villages looked alike.

A bus took employees to a village where old people were surrounded by their grandchildren from Moscow.


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9 Responses to “Working In A Soviet Collective Farm”

  1. Osip says:

    Looks easy. Mostly sitting around and eating. Who said life on collective farm was hard?

  2. (r)evolutionist says:

    Oh, to shovel manure for the State. Does it get any better?

  3. Misha says:

    Soviet Commune life was not exactly nice. The workers were often not left with enough food to feed the whole commune and people regularly went hungry — this is straight from my grandmother’s mouth and she lived through WW2. Check out the corruption: “In 1948 the Soviet government charged wholesalers 335 rubles for 100 kilograms of rye, but paid the kolkhoz roughly 8 rubles.[6]”


  4. Mercal says:

    Looks like slave living to me.

  5. parabellum says:

    In these photos appear to work the students during
    the holidays( so-called student labor groups, standarts of student it was an opportunity to earn good money during the holidays). I think it is right young people learned to work with your hands and know how hard it is. Older people from
    various goverment agencies.

  6. Soviet says:

    The best time. Far from parents, young guys and girls. So there was a love )).

  7. Nat says:

    My parents did this in Russia when they were young. I’m sure it sucked at the moment, having to work while you were off school and all, but as young people they had fun. Getting out of the city, meeting people their own age, etc. It taught them how to grow/garden/harvest and we later had our own dacha where we grew potatoes. I’d say that’s positive experience, and other citizens benefited from their work. Some of you shouldn’t talk of what you don’t know. Now all young people do in Russia is bum around and drink… with little or no prospects.

  8. leo says:

    Such refreshing images, unlike the ones beamed into my head from official imperial sources.

    There are various studies of the soviet collective farm eg:

    * An orientalist, academic view: The Soviet collective farm, 1929-1930, Volume 2, by R.W.Davies

    * Pure paranoid capitalist propagandist view: “The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine” by an Orwellian master of crude deception Robert Conquest.

    What would a researched Soviet view of the collective farm look like?

  9. Edwin Stamm says:

    Do any of these cooperative farms still exist, or were they all privatized?

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