Sustainable Food Group

Ninety miles east of St. Petersburg in Russia, a small community of people is growing its own organic food and attracting a lot of attention from the neighbors and the government. The attention comes partly because their farm is successful, but mainly because nearly half of the residents of this community are developmentally disabled. These disabled people had been considered incapable of taking care of themselves before coming here. Now, living together with dedicated volunteers from Russia and around the world, they are working members of a remarkable pioneering community.

“Svetlana Village” is a stirring example of the benefit of including people of all abilities in our lives. The film profiles one week during the harvest of 2000. Winter is fast approaching. All the crops, including forty tons of potatoes, must be brought in, and a surprise invitation from the farmer's market offers them their first chance ever to sell their produce openly without mafia intervention. Overwhelmed, they ask for help from the local villages. Students from schools are given leave to help with the harvest, and neighbors pitch in with phenomenal generosity. In a land where economic and cultural opportunity is so limited, it is amazing to see how spirits soar.


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