Fall harvest in Cappadocia

On our way from one tourist attraction to another, we stopped along the road to watch local famers harvest their potato crop. The specialized attachment they used with their tractor raked up the plants, depositing the potatoes on top and separating the vegetation with a rake. The potatoes were then picked up and packed into bags by hand, while the vegetation was added to big piles at the ends of the field to dry and later use for fuel. It looks like they have the same pests on their potatos that US farmer do–the potato beetle.

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Potatoes are members of the nightshade family and contain potentially harmful chemicals in their stems, leaves, and even green parts of the potato (which is why you are not supposed to eat those parts). Interesting notes about the glycoalkaloid, solanine, in potatoes and other nightshade plants and how it was used in ancient history can be found in a recent Naturephile blog.

Much of the flat land around Konya in central Turkey looks just like North Dakota, and with similar geography, they produce similar agricultural products. Sugar beet harvest was occuring there as we drove through, just about the same time it usually happens in NoDak. Turkey is the largest producer of sugar beets in the Middle East, and the fifth largest in the world!

Many of the grapes in the numerous vineyards we saw in the Cappadocia region are harvested in late summer, August and September, for wine production. But at the end of our hike in the White Valley, we found grapes drying in sun for Sultana raisin production.

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In every marketplace we visited we could buy dried apples, apricots, figs, dates, pears, etc. Dried mulberries were a special treat on our morning granola and yogurt. It makes my mouth water just to think about all that good food.

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