TADYA (Tahtacıörencik Village Ecological Living Collective) consists of a group of villagers and facilitators in the Tahtacıörencik Village of the Güdül district in Ankara, founded in February 2014. It is a local solidarity-based collective, coupled with a non-profit association, which is Four Seasons Ecological Living Association, also founded in 2014.
Tahtacıörencik village is located in the skirts of Köroğlu mountains, which hosts a sylvan ecosystem with a rich bio-diversity, including large mammals like bears, wolves, bears as well as rare birds of pray like the black vulture. Süvari River, which is one of the cleanest water courses of Ankara, runs trough the territories of the village. There are many families who practice agriculture with traditional methods, and willing to produce more, conditional to marketing opportunities.
The TADYA collective aims at (i) promoting agroecological principles and methods, centrally including permaculture and other regenerative farming approaches, (ii) preserving natural and agricultural biodiversity and resources, including heirloom seeds and local cultural assets, (iii) promoting small-scale family farming and facilitating community-supported agriculture, and (iv) fostering social connections by bridging urban and rural populations. Its core values include harmony with nature, solidarity, social inclusion, and horizontal organization.
As TADYA is a member of the Ankara-based PGS group DBB (The Natural Food, Conscious Nutrition Group), producers who take part in the collective have access to direct-selling opportunities with DBB members.
TADYA coordinates its efforts with similar groups and NGOs all over Turkey, including Güneşköy, Çiğdemim and Kırsal Çevre associations in Ankara. It is part of Buğday Association’s heirloom seed network. Being a host in HelpX and Workaway, we have until now received more than 25 visitors from all around the world, sharing skills and experiences. TADYA is associated with the National Network of CSAs, as well as the Mediterranean Network of Local- and Solidarity-Based Partnerships for Agroecology, coordinated by the International Network of Community-Supported Agriculture (URGENCI) , Terre & Humanisme (France), and RIAM (Morocco).
Members of the collective, before and after its foundation in February 2014, have been involved in various activities related to ecological development of the Tahtacıörencik Village and building relations with other organizations. These include:
- Organization of various meetings with local people in the village. These include brainstorming sessions on ecological development, organic farming, rural tourism, preservation of the Süvari stream and other natural areas.
- Assisting local farmers with ecological methods for vegetable raising with local, heirloom seeds.
- In collaboration with Ankara Directorate of Agriculture, Organic Agriculture Department, guidance support to ten farmers who started organic agriculture in the village, for three years starting from 2013.
- Demonstration of regenerative farming techniques, including no-till vegetable raising.
- Collaborating with villagers for villagers in their legal struggle for stopping a hydro-electric plant project on Süvari River, which eventually succeeded with a juridical decision in 2013.
- In 2014, trial plantations for organic rice production with the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method.
- In collaboration with the Güdül District Directorate of Agriculture, granting free-range chicken to 10 families in the village.
- In collaboration with the village government, promoting small-scale animal husbandry with grazing and with local animal varieties. These include Anatolian black cattle, Ankara Tiftik (mohair) goats, free-range chickens and chemical-free beekeeping with local Anatolian bees.
- Initiative in the production of innovative natural products including ointments, tinctures, full grain and natural yeast local breads, caramelized milk, dried meat and sucuk (traditional sausage).
- Since 2012, organization of about 30 eco-tours to the village and nearby sites in Güdül. About 10 of them specifically designed for families with children, with average participation of 20 people per tour.
- In collaboration with the village government, co-organization of Ankara Ecological Living and Society Days (2013, 2014) and Çankaya Seed Exchange Festival (25-26 October 2013).
- Organization of a two-days ‘real food festival’ in the village in October 2014, in the context of Ankara Ecological Living and Society Days. 20 participants from civil society and NGOs held meetings with the villagers and stayed overnight at the villagers’ houses.
- In collaboration with DBB PGS Group and Çankaya Municipality’s City and Agriculture Department, enhancing means for first-hand marketing of villagers’ natural products. These include stands in Ayrancı organic market (3 stands), Ayrancı producer’s market (4 stands), procurement by cargo and home delivery.
- Participation in the Seed Exchange Network’s Farmer Educations in Yalova, with 3 farmers in January 2013, and with 6 farmers in January 2014.
- In collaboration with the village government, participation at Seed Exchange Festivals in Şile-Ovacık (November 2012), Çanakkale Bayramiç (April 2013), and Ankara Çankaya (October 2013).
- In spring 2015, in collaboration with Ankara Directorate of Agriculture, four educational seminars for the women of the village, on food processing methods.
- In situ preservation of heirloom agricultural varieties of the region. These include four local varieties of tomatoes, one hulless barley, local fenugreek and lamb’s quarters, one variety of rice, one variety of cotton, and fifteen varieties of local grapes.
- January-May 2015, trainings to women of the village on natural production methods by Ankara Provincial Directorate of Agriculture.
- Spring 2015 and 2016, production and distribution of seedlings of four local tomato varieties of the region.
- In March 2016, participation and representation of TADYA at the startup meeting of the Mediterranean Network of Local- and Solidarity-Based Partnerships (LPSAs) for Agroecology, in Marseille, France.
- May 4-6 2016, participation at the FAO’s Europe and Central Asia Regional Conference in Antalya, as part of URGENCI delegation.
- In 2016, Tahtacıörencik village was designated as one of the rural tourism centers along the Trekking Routes of Ankara, by the Directorate of Culture and Tourism of Ankara: http://www.ankaratrekkingrotalari.com/
- On April 11, 2017, participation and a presentation (by Ceyhan Temürcü) at the Trekking Routes Launching Meeting of the Directorate of Culture and Tourism of Ankara,
- On May 14, 2017, a visit to the village by stakeholders of the ecotourism sector, with the coordination of the Directorate of Culture and Tourism of Ankara.
- In 2016 and 2017, participation and presentations at the Food Communities Workshop coordinated by the Earth Association (Yeryüzü Derneği) in Istanbul.
- On October 5-8, 2017, co-organizing (with URGENCI and Terre & Humanisme) and co-hosting (with DBB) the Ankara Learning Journey of the Mediterranean Network of LSPAs for Agroecology.
- On October 6, 2017, as part of the Ankara Learning Journey programme, a visit to the village with 65 people, including 11 guests from Mediterranean countries and 13 producers from the DBB PGS group .
- 22-25 November 2017, participation (by Ceyhan Temürcü) at the Lebanon Learning Journey of the Mediterranean Network of LSPAs for Agroecology.
- On December 2, 2017, a half-day presentationon agroecology by members of TADYA and DBB, to the Ankara Development Agency.
- Publication of educational/information booklets on agroecological farming and rural tourism, and online information on http://www.tahtaciorencik.org.