Turkey – a huge country and we heard, that it is beautiful and the hard-working people are very hospitable. For us it was still to early to go to Georgia, and we wanted to get in touch with local people. So we decided to help again on a farm as we already did in Bosnia. After a few e-mails we got an answer from Emine, who`s farm is close to Urla, a town 80 km on the west side of Izmir
We arrived on the farm on Saturday evening and got introduced into the quality control of olive oil and we observed, how white wine gets made. It was very interesting and we were excited. After that we looked for a place for our huge camper and afterwards we had dinner together with Emines parents. A very kind couple which welcomed us cordial. The dinner was delicious and the conversation interesting.
The next morning we got up early and went harvesting olives. For the next two days we were climbing on trees, harvesting, selecting. It was interesting to see, how much work is needed to get a good olive oil. The harvesting was quit hard and the days long, so we were happy, when the two days were over. On the third day we started with the car at 6:30 to be the first in the facility for pressing the olives. Out of around 800 kg olives we brought 160 l oil back home.
In the following days we became allrounder. We collected lavender and prepared them for drying and sorted out the dried ones. Then we repaired a piece of the fence and looked for more holes, where the pigs had a chance to come into the property. That`s when we noticed how big Emines farm was. Several thousand olive- and tangerine trees and a few fields, on one of them were growing artichokes. We used as well the tractor, with different machines for preparing the fields. There was a lack of personal on Emines farm, as the worker just quit his job, after we arrived.
Repairing the water system. Harvesting the summer garden, conserving the vegetables, preparing the blackberry plants for the winter. Caring for the chicken and the rooster, looking for eggs. And and and – absolutely versatile and we learned a lot. We had lots of fun and we hope, that we helped Emine a bit on her farm.
So we got a changing daily routine – Emines mother cooked for us for lunch and dinner good, Turkish food and she made wonderful vegetable soups. We had good conversations with the whole family and sometimes we watched all together cooking or house building shows in english on TV or repaired small things in the house.
Another building site was the roof of the car shelter, as the wood already started having mildew. From one side we took all the tiles away, changed the OBS-plaques, put a sealing sheet on top and afterwards the tiles back. Everybody was happy with the result and we gained another experience.
But we have not only been working, one Sunday we went walking with a group together with Ali. Ali was not Emines worker as we first thought, he is a good friend of the family and an olive farmer "in pension". We got the chance to discover the surrounding by feet and got in touch with locals, with whom we had time for several conversations. The hospitality still has been a big part – we were nicely welcomed and invited for coffee and tea. The walk ended on a tangerine party, where the fruit tangerine was in the middle of the event. And there were many small booths selling Turkish goodies.
One afternoon we visited with Emine a winery including a tasting and a visit of the wine cellar. It was interesting to see, how Turkey tries to establish the wine culture. We loved the wine!!
We still remember the day we went to Özbek to a fish auction, here the normal way to buy fish. And we got the chance to use Emines wood oven for baking pizza, german bread and drying vegetables and tangerines. We never stopped gaining experience...
After all these impressive experiences we left the farm of Emine after 3 ½ weeks, ready for new adventures. We wish Emine and her parents all the best for the future and would like to thank for the good time we spent on their farm.