In recent years, a healthy lifestyle has become much more than just another popular trend, and organic farmer’s markets, which aim to spread an awareness of GMOs, artificial additives, and ethics, are now in high demand — which is why the opening of the Earth Market in Şile, home to Istanbul’s largest cultivation area, is probably the news that many residents of Istanbul have been waiting for.
The first Earth Market was set up in 2005 in Italy, and it soon quickly spread across Europe, carrying with it its mission to bridge the gap between the field and the dinner table. This community-run market’s concept is derived from the Slow Food philosophy, which is based on the foundations of good, clean, and fair food. According to Earth Market’s guidelines, the products have to be produced using environmentally-friendly methods, sustain local food culture and stand up for agricultural biodiversity. Without any middlemen, small-scale producers can sell goods they have produced themselves to customers at fair prices. This develops a growing relationship of trust and encourages increased interaction between producers and customers.
There are currently two official Earth Markets in Turkey: one in Foça and one in Gökçeada. Although the market in Şile has yet to be approved by the Earth Market committee, the process is currently ongoing and the final approval is expected to come through in October after an official visit by the board.
The boutique market promotes the right ideas: buy no more and no less than what you really need, avoid waste, and protect the environment. It currently offers a wide range of delicious local and organic produce from over 57 villages, including tomatoes, peppers, hazelnuts, sourdough bread, beans, eggs, jams, balsam pears, tarhana, and vinegar. Events featuring prominent figures, such as Chef Maksut Aşkar, are also a common occurrence.
This market is guaranteed to transform your banal food shopping experience into an exciting and fresh adventure, giving you the chance to have a positive impact on your local community. And don’t forget to bring your own shopping bag!
When: Every Friday and Sunday starting at 7am. The market’s rule of thumb is that the sooner you get there, the more produce choices you will have.
Where: Şile is approximately a one-hour drive from Taksim, depending on traffic conditions.
By car: Follow the signs to Şile city center once you reach the Asian side of the city.
By bus: 139 Üsküdar-Şile, or 139T Ümraniye Tepeüstü-Şile.