Foça farmers' market approved by Slow Food as an Earth Market, the fourth in Asia and the first in Turkey.
The small town of Foça, with around 60,000 inhabitants across the municipality, is located on the Gulf of Izmir, north of Bodrum, in the midst of an important tourist region. The region's capital Izmir, about 60 kilometers south of the village, is an important port for the export of local agricultural products. Much of Foça district in under strict environmental protection due to is impressive biodiversity of flora and fauna, in particular the significant presence of endemic herbs and medicinal plants. To promote these species and their uses to the public, Slow Food Foça Zeytindali invited local gatherers to display and sell their produce at a regular town market.
Launched in April 2011, the Foça producers' market has established itself as a weekly part of city life. It takes place every Sunday from 8.30am to 6.30pm, in Yerel Pazar market square - a covered space in the city center and close to the sea, provided by the Municipality.
All producers attending the market come from with a 40km radius of the city. The convivium carried out a detailed mapping of local farms and producers to identify good, clean and fair products in various categories: bread, fresh fruits and vegetables, preserves, fresh herbs, mushrooms, cheese, milk, yogurt and flower-related products. The market's one street food stall offers gozleme, a hand-rolled phyllo pastry filled with herbs and cheese, folded like a crepe and cooked on a saç, a large convex griddle.
With its origins as a place to promote the local wild culinary herbs and medicinal plants, Slow Food Foça Zeytindali has ensured the market continues to include an educational aspect. As well as introducing the local wild herbs to shoppers, the market is campaigning to reintroduce the use of grape molasses as a traditional substitute for sugar. In addition, the more experienced producers are assisting to organize educational activities for the producers themselves who are also participating in a seed exchange.
Foça Earth Market
Yerel Pazar, Foça, Turkey
Every Sunday from 8:30am to 6:30pm
Gul Girismen (convivium leader) - +90 532 616 82 49, firstname.lastname@example.org
Neval Aydin (producer) - email@example.com