What is this page about? The chronicle of my attempts to grow food, especially the vegetables and herbs that I can’t find locally, and some flowers, too, sustainably (organically) in a north facing urban garden in Istanbul. I say “attempts” because the outcome is by no means guaranteed. This part of the blog is probably the scariest because I have no idea how this saga will end – will I have a luscious tomato to photograph (and eat) at the end of the summer? Or will the cutworms get the best of me, like they did one day, knocking over my sole Taiwan long bean seedling in broad (cloudy) daylight, when my back was turned.

A recipe is tweaked till it’s perfect; the trials, the mess-ups, and the mess, are invisible unless the blogger chooses to show them. but the story of a garden, for me at least, is a love story where the beloved is wild, unpredictable, full of joy one moment and despair the next, the quintessential “other” that I need to study as well as love, to learn its language, soothe its pains, satisfy its hungers, and…

Enough already. The real deal is that sustainably grown food is getting harder and harder to come by all around the world, and people are becoming keener to learn ways of growing at least some of what we eat in a way that supports the earth rather than depletes it. The organic movement here in turkey is still very young and even if the average gardeners/small farmers are able to find information on organic methods, they have little or no access to the vast array of products that are available in western Europe or the US. (among other places) that could help them do so.

So this is the story of my gigantic learning curve and my trials and multitudinous errors, and my surprises and delights, in organic gardening.