Farming Lexicon: A Guide to Agricultural Vocabulary

The tranquil landscape of the countryside, with its vast fields and charming villages, holds a significant place in our hearts and plays a crucial role in our societies. Amidst these idyllic surroundings, agriculture and farming flourish, sustaining livelihoods and nurturing communities.

Have you ever dreamed of living a simpler life close to nature? Picture yourself surrounded by vast green fields, the gentle sounds of livestock, and the scent of fresh hay. If farming and rural life intrigue you, then you’ve come to the right place.

What is a Russian Village

Painting of a Russian village
Painting of a Russian village

In the Russian language, the word “ферма” [fyerma] does exist and refers to a farm. However, it’s worth noting that traditionally, farming in Russia is often associated with small villages rather than large-scale farms. These villages, known as “село” [seelo] or деревня [deeryevnya], are where many people cultivate their land, grow crops, and raise livestock.

The concept of self-sufficiency and living off the land has deep roots in Russian culture. In these villages, you’ll often find vast expanses of fields where farmers grow wheat, barley, vegetables, and other crops. Livestock, such as cows, sheep, and chickens, roam freely, contributing to the rural idyll.

Agriculture in these areas typically involves both small-scale subsistence farming and larger plots used for cultivating crops like oats and other grains.

The timing for planting in Russia can vary significantly due to its vast size and diverse climate. In general, planting starts in Russia typically begins in the spring, usually between April and June, depending on the specific region and weather conditions.

Oats are typically planted in Russia in the spring, from late April to early June, depending on the specific region and local climate conditions. The exact timing for planting oats can vary due to the vastness of Russia and the diversity of its climate.

Agriculture in Russia
A wheat field outside a small village in Russia in September

Harvesting of oats in Russia usually takes place in late summer or early autumn. The harvest time for oats typically falls between late July and early September, again dependent on the region, weather conditions, and the specific variety of oats being cultivated.

While the image of a farm in the Western sense might not be as prevalent in Russia, the principles of sustainable agriculture and rural self-reliance still thrive.

Сельское поселение (rural settlement) is a traditional agricultural villages with a small population engaged in farming, livestock rearing, or other rural-based activities.

Посёлок” [pasyolak] is a term used in Russia to refer to a type of settlement that is larger than a village but smaller than a town or city. It can be translated as “settlement” or “townlet” in English. Посёлок typically implies a residential area with a more developed infrastructure compared to smaller villages.

In Russia, many city dwellers also have their own houses outside of urban areas with small vegetable gardens where they can relax and grow vegetables. It’s called дача and serves as a secondary residence or vacation home where people escape to spend their weekends, holidays, or summers away from the city. Dachas serve as a way for people to connect with the outdoors and have a break from urban life.

СНТ” (Садоводческое некоммерческое товарищество) is a “Gardening Nonprofit Association”, a form of organized collective gardening communities or allotment associations in Russia.

SNTs are usually established to provide individual members with дача plots. These plots are smaller than traditional agricultural fields and are intended for recreational gardening and cultivation of fruits, vegetables, flowers, or other plants. Such plots are usually located outside the city or on its outskirts.

Members of an SNT typically have private ownership of their individual plots within the association’s land. However, the land itself is collectively owned and managed by the association as a whole.

Дачный посёлок is a settlement predominantly consisting of dachas. They are most often located not far from the city.

Дачный посёлок
Dacha settlement, source:


See Also: City and Town Vocabulary in Russian

Vocabulary Word List for Describing the Countryside

Basic terms

сельская местность – countryside

деревня – village

хутор – hamlet

ферма – farm

фермер – farmer

агроном – agronomist

пастух – shepherd

природа – nature

растение – plant

земля – land

луг – meadow

овраг – ravine

речка – river

озеро – lake

ручей – stream

поляна – clearing

лес – forest

трава – grass, herb

сено – hay

тюк сена – bale of hay

стог сена – haystack

сорняк – weeds (plural сорняки)

удобрение – fertilizer

инсектицид – insecticide

мульча – mulch

урожай – harvest

урожайность – yield

пашня – plowed land

зерно – grains

корм – feed

стадо – herd

стая – flock

семена – seeds

почва – soil

компост – compost

молоко – milk

яйца – eggs

мёд – honey

See Also: Deep Dive into Russian Food Vocabulary

Agricultural Environment and Activities

сельское хозяйство – agriculture

сельскохозяйственная техника – agricultural machinery

животноводство – animal husbandry

птицеводство – poultry farming

растениеводство – crop production

садоводство – gardening

поле – field

полевые работы – fieldwork

сенокос – haymaking

жатва – reap

уборка урожая – harvesting

плантация – plantation

ирригация – irrigation

пастбище – pasture

пасека – apiary

улей – beehive

огород – vegetable garden

грядка – garden bed

теплица – greenhouse

виноградник – vineyard

инкубатор – hatchery

фруктовый сад – orchard

клумба – flowerbed

амбар/сарай – barn

курятник – coop

хлев/стойло/стайка – stall, stable

загон – enclosure

конюшня – stable (for horses)

ветряная мельница – windmill

забор – fence

ворота – gate

пугало – scarecrow

ведро – bucket

Farm and Countryside Vocabulary in Russian

Instruments and Machines

ручной инструмент – hand tool

коса – scythe

лопата – shovel

тяпка – hoe

вилы – pitchfork

грабли – rake

серп – sickle

секатор – pruner

косилка – mower

плуг – plow

грузовик – truck

трактор – tractor

комбайн – combine harvester

See Also: Exploring the Various Types of Vehicles in Russian

Crops and Livestock

сельскохозяйственные культуры – agricultural crops

пшеница – wheat

овёс – oats

рожь – rye

ячмень – barley

кукуруза – corn

овощи – vegetables

фрукты – fruits

скот – livestock

крупный рогатый скот – cattle

домашняя птица – poultry

корова – cow

бык – bull

телёнок – calf

овца – sheep

баран – ram

ягнёнок – lamb

коза – goat

свинья – swine

поросёнок – piglet

боров – hog

лошадь – horse

конь – horse (male)

кобыла – mare

жеребёнок – foal

осёл – donkey

мул – mule

кролик – rabbit

курица – hen

петух – rooster

цыплёнок – chick

утка – duck

селезень – drake

утёнок – duckling

гусь – goose (pl. гуси)

индюк – turkey

bee – пчела (pl. пчёлы)

домашние животные – pets, domestic animals

See Also: An Inclusive Compilation of Over 100 Animal Names in Russian

Expressions for Talking about the Countryside

If you need to describe village life, a rural landscape, or talk about agriculture, it is important to know the appropriate vocabulary. In this section, I have gathered useful phrases, expressions, and example sentences that will assist you in discussing farming without any difficulties.

Typical Russian countryside

Farming Activities

Activities in the countryside are as varied as the landscapes themselves. Walking along scenic paths, cycling through undulating fields, or simply enjoying a picnic surrounded by the beauty of nature are just a few of the countless possibilities awaiting those who seek solace in rural areas. Gardening enthusiasts can explore their green thumbs by nurturing their own plots, while adventure-seekers can embark on exciting expeditions like mushroom picking or berry gathering. The countryside truly offers something for everyone, satisfying a wide range of interests and passions.

The following expressions should help you describe various farming activities in Russian.

заниматься сельским хозяйством – engage in agriculture/farming

убирать/собирать урожай – harvest crops

собирать урожай – gather crops

полоть огород – weed the garden

кормить животных – feed animals

молоть зерно – grind grain

сеять семена – sow seeds

сажать цветы/овощи – plant flowers/vegetables

выращивать овощи и фрукты – cultivate vegetables and fruits

поливать грядки – water the garden beds

пасти скот – herd livestock

чистить стайки – clean the stables

опрыскивать растения – spray plants

удобрять поля – fertilize fields

косить траву – cut the grass

заготавливать сено – haymaking

обрабатывать почву – cultivate the soil

гулять по полям – walk through the fields

поджигать костёр – light a bonfire

кататься на велосипеде – ride a bicycle

ловить бабочек – catch butterflies

устраивать пикник на природе – organize a picnic in nature

гулять по лесу – take a walk in the forest

отдыхать на свежем воздухе – relax in the fresh air

жарить шашлык – barbecue

ловить рыбу – catch fish

собирать ягоды – gather berries

собирать грибы – gather mushrooms

доить корову – milk the cow

собирать яйца – collect the eggs (from the hens)

Examples of Discussing the Countryside

Discussing the countryside in Russian

Here are some examples of how you can talk about village life in Russian.

Я очень люблю природу. Обычно на выходных я предпочитаю проводить время на свежем воздухе в деревне. – I really love nature. Usually, on weekends, I prefer to spend time outdoors in the countryside.

В сельской местности можно насладиться тишиной и спокойствием, вдали от городской суеты и шума. – In the countryside, you can enjoy peace and tranquility, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Сельский домик с садом и огородом даёт возможность выращивать свои овощи и наслаждаться свежими продуктами. – A rural cottage with a garden and vegetable plot allows growing one’s own vegetables, and enjoying fresh produce.

Просторные луга, покрытые цветами, и спокойные речки, медленно текущие по живописным пейзажам, создают идеальную атмосферу сельской местности. – Spacious meadows covered with flowers and tranquil rivers flowing slowly through the picturesque landscapes create the perfect atmosphere of the countryside.

Несколько лет назад наша семья переехала из большого города в деревню. Теперь я никогда не обменяю чистый воздух и прекрасную природу на городскую суету. – A few years ago our family moved from the big city to the countryside. Now I would never trade clean air and beautiful nature for the hustle and bustle of the city.

Throughout our journey, we have discovered a rich range of expressions and phrases that allow us to paint vivid descriptions of rural landscapes, discuss countryside activities, and capture the essence of country life.

By expanding our vocabulary to encompass the richness of countryside-themed terms, we open doors to meaningful conversations about agriculture, village life, and the picturesque scenery that defines rural areas. Through the appropriate use of expressions and phrases, we can transport our readers into the heart of idyllic landscapes, allowing them to visualize the beauty and charm that the countryside embodies.

So, whether you yearn for the peacefulness of a dacha surrounded by blooming gardens, the thrill of exploring hidden trails, or the joy of rejoicing in the simplicity of rural life, the countryside vocabulary in Russian will serve as an essential tool to articulate your experiences and convey the magic of these serene settings.

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