|Farm-fresh food for sale|
In Ottoman times, according to researcher Aleksandar Sopov, there were bostan (market gardens) all along the ridge passing through Istanbul's old city, many associated with that area's large mosques, and fed by water from the Valens Aqueduct. As recently as 1900, Istanbul was home to more than 1,200 bostan covering as many as 12 square kilometers. Highly productive and tended with sustainable techniques passed down through generations, many of these gardens continued providing food for the local population until mass urbanization kicked off in the 1960s and 1970s.
|The Tarlataban garden at|
But the rapid transformation of the city has also sparked a movement to plant new gardens as a form of resistance, with community-based groups of volunteers taking over empty lots and trying to revive urban food-growing.
Read my articles for Culinary Backstreets and Zester Daily on these interlinked developments: