There is no doubt that we all need to take the challenges the environment faces due to climate change more seriously. In addition to this pressing need for learning how to take on more environmentally-sound practices, finding and growing healthy food has also become of utmost importance worldwide. Luckily, there are people out there, expats and Turks alike, that are coming together to share and learn about positive ways to make this a better world.
Alternatives for Natural Living
Have you ever wondered what life would be like living in a more rural environment outside of the city? Or, you might want to learn about more ways to implement green practices in an urban lifestyle. Either way, this Saturday, April 13, ATÖLYE will be hosting a unique event called "Alternatives for Natural Living" ("Alternatiflerle Doğal Yaşam" in Turkish) in which 20 different speakers will be discussing different alternative practices for an environmentally conscious lifestyle.
Taking place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., there will be an entire day of talks, panels and workshops all geared toward finding answers to the following three questions: "How would life be outside the city?" "If I cannot escape living in the city, how can I make my life as natural as I can?" and "How do I find natural and organic food?"
Held at ATÖLYE, which is located in Bomontiada, this event is being organized in conjunction with Hayalim Bi'Çiftlik, (My Dream is a Farm), which is a website where new farmers share their stories. On the website, there are dozens of posts by people who have fulfilled their dreams of moving out of the city and starting up a farm in more rural areas in Turkey. The posts put up by different farmers describe their personal experiences of why they decided to transform their lives, what it is like living in a village and what challenges and successes they have experienced thus far.
Among the speakers will be members from Hayalim Bi'Çiftlik such as Köy Kafası, which is led by Mustafa Eren, who has a farm near Tekirdağ but also leads weekend workshops in Silivri on agricultural practices for those interested in adopting a more rural lifestyle. There will be a panel on recycling with members from organizations such as Kokopelli Şehirde and the Zero Waste platform.
Discussing the issue of how to find healthy food in urban areas will be speakers from innovative organizations such as Kök Project, EkBiçYeİç and Bi'avuç and tackling the topic of ecological food will be representatives from Good4Trust and the community food cooperative Kadıköy Gıda Kooperatifi. There will also be a breath therapy workshop led by Zeynep Gürsoy from Cihangir Yoga, although those interested in participating must register and are advised to wear comfortable clothing. The day will come to a close with an hour of networking starting at 5 p.m. The event will take place in Turkish and is free to attend however; participants should register through Eventbrite. Although the event appears to be sold out, I was told ATÖLYE intends to extend the capacity to open up more space for attendees.
NADAS for living sustainable in the city
NADAS is a new community space in Kadıköy's colorful Yeldeğirmeni neighborhood that is a joint venture, by expat Jessica Sim and Ahu Kopan, where the focus is on living more sustainably in the city. The space hosts workshops and events, such as their upcoming "Fermented Pickles" and 'Kombucha' workshops as well as "Notebook Sketching" and the ongoing "Anadolu Meraları" training program on "Holistic Management." Anadolu Meraları serves as a hub for the International Savoury Institute, which is a global community of "regenerative farmers and land managers." Meanwhile, every Friday evening NADAS also hosts "Plan Talks," which is a weekly event that gathers people to talk about plant care or invites speakers to share their work. Attending this event is free, however, registration is requested.
Tidy Turkey heads to Büyükada
This Saturday, Tidy Turkey (Türkiye'ye Temizle), will be holding a "Beautiful Büyükada Clean Up" event from noon to 3 p.m. in which participants will pick up litter on the largest and most popular of the Princes' Islands. Tidy Turkey a community, Facebook group and blog started by Australian expat Lucy Tooze that hosts cleanups in which people gather and collect litter from various parts of Istanbul, they then celebrate their good work at a local cafe. A great opportunity to get outdoors, discover the island and meet like-minded individuals, Lucy also blogs about each event, which are regularly frequented by expats and Turks alike. This Saturday, Tidy Turkey will meet up at noon in front of the clock tower in Büyükada and then at the Fici Cafe at 3 p.m.
Learn to farm in the Ida Mountains
Çamtepe is an ecological living, training, implementing and exhibition center that was established by members of the Buğday Foundation nearly 10 years ago. Nestled in the hills of Bahçedere village, which overlooks the Aegean above Küçükkuyu in Çanakkale, this community space will be hosting a full program of workshops and seminars this spring and summer for those interested in learning more about rural, healthy and natural living.
The program kicks off in May with two three-day workshops, "Healing Herbs School" followed by "Introduction to Small-Scale Farming." The workshops continue throughout the summer and include topics such as "Nature Observation" and "Entering an Ecological Lifestyle."