To the market, to the market I said, ready in front of the door with my hundred and two shopping bags, sneakers on, lots of small banknotes to make our lives easier at the market. With our Stanley full of cold coffee and ice, my enamel tumblers, E.S.T., The Bad Plus, Miles Davis and more jazz cds, we hit the road.
Şile is a small town 76km from İstanbul, with a shore on the Black Sea, highly preferred by domestic tourists to spend a day at the beach during summer months. Şile, in history was known as the vegetable and fruit supplier lands of İstanbul. Surrounded by fertile lands and small villages of different ethnicities Şile has actually a vast culture.
Earth Markets, with a tagline, not just another market, is a worldwide movement formed under Slow Food philosophy. After Foça Earth Market, now Şile Earth Market is the candidate from İstanbul to enter the international list.
Earth Markets differ form the organic or local food markets by some guidelines; No middleman, as the farmer you grow, you pick, you sell. This strengthens the network between the farmers and as a consumer you are in direct contact with the farmer. Not to mention the fair priced, sustainable farming. As I always say, know your farmer. You may learn about the produce, even go and visit the land it is grown. The seeds, should be heirloom seeds, not hybrid. The produce must be seasonal. The villages must be in the radius of 40km, supporting locavorism, as well, reducing gas emissions and carbon footprints.
So Slow Food Şile Palamut(Bonito) Convivium and the local authorities started working on the earth market project almost two years ago, they have done their research and field studies. Finally on July, Şile Earth Market opened. What a joy to be there! Talking with the villagers which 57 villages have stalls, picking a box of juicy tomatoes, heirloom cucumbers, vinegar, watermelon, eggs, butter, bread… What ever the land, mother earth gives us.
Soon our bags were full of sun kissed veggies. They were still warm, being picked from the fields the same morning. I got the chance of meeting Osman Amca, Firdevs and Hüseyin Bey. Had a chance to even get recipe for a special pickle. Although by the time we finished shopping there were no Boşnak böreği left on the stall, I had a contempt feeling and a car full of real food. Next time I said, I want that jar of the famous chestnut honey!
Şile Earth Market held in the center of Şile, every Friday and Sundays.
p.s. Şile Earth Market is officially registered as Earth Market on November 15th 2015.
tş, feb 18th, 2016