days of harvest
Autumn in the harvest season in Türkiye, when many of the crops that are grown are picked and processed for the rest of the year. Olives, saffron, chestnuts, grapes, hazelnuts, tea, and more all have their harvest seasons. Thanks to the country’s farmers and harvesters, Türkiye has delicious, fresh goods to consume all year.
The olive harvest season usually occurs at the end of the year, around November. There is an annual festival in Ayvalık to celebrate the olive harvest. Picking the olives is only the first step of the olive harvest, however. After being picked, olives are washed, pickled, and often pressed for oil.
Türkiye’s grape harvest occurs in September, and is celebrated throughout Türkiye in August, September, and October. Harvesters pick bunches of grapes in baskets, which can then be used for wine, pekmez, and other food products. Tekirdağ has a grape harvesting festival, as well as a museum dedicated to it. In Elazığ, in Eastern Anatolia, where the Öküzgözü and Boğazkere grapes are grown, the grapes from the vineyards are often used to make pekmez. Cappadocia, Kırklareli, and Bozacaada also have rich grape harvesting traditions.
The harvesting of hazelnuts in Türkiye dates back nearly 2,500 years. Hazelnuts continue to be one of the country’s most important crops. The hand-picked harvest takes place in August and September. Hazelnuts are usually sundried after being harvested.
Tourists flock to Safranbolu for the flower that gives the town its name. Saffron is planted in August and harvested here from a purple-colored crocus in October and November. It is a labor-intensive process. The flowers are beautiful and distinct, and the spice is sold for a high price in the bazaars.