Born in the Yukarı Çay village of Pertek district and immigrating to Istanbul 25 years ago, Yıldız (55) started working on organic agriculture in his hometown with a group of friends. Ensuring that ancestral seeds are multiplied and popularized on lands that do not use chemical fertilizers, Yıldız later activated a century-old water mill inherited from his father in order to process these products with traditional and healthy methods and bring them to the consumer.
Yıldız, who continues his profession as he learned from his ancestors despite the developing technology, carries out studies for the production of “karakilçık”, “ashure” and “Necessary 79” wheat seeds in the surrounding provinces and districts in order to spread organic agriculture. Yıldız, who lives in Istanbul in the winter and returns to his village in the summer, currently spends most of his time in the 400-year-old water mill, which he calls “my father has a smell” and was built with local architecture.
Yıldız, who took the road to the mill, which is 5 kilometers away from his village, early in the day, firstly controls the water arc and the amount of water and ensures that the water flows towards the mill wheel through the pipe called “sluice”. Yıldız empties the wheat into the mill basket with the violently flowing water from a height of about 5 meters turning the millstone. Thus, hundreds of kilograms of wheat turn into flour in a few hours.
Yıldız, who operates the building that has the feature of the only historical water mill in the city, works hard to voluntarily grind the wheat produced by many citizens from the surrounding villages, especially in summer. Realizing various projects for organic agriculture with the Anka Dersim Initiative, which he founded with his friends, Yıldız aims to both keep the mills that resist technology and expand production in the city with ancestral seeds.
– “MILLS WERE PEOPLE’S FOCUSES”
Mehmet Ali Yıldız told Anadolu Agency (AA) that his grandfather handed over the milling business to his father and that he assumed this task as the third generation. Expressing that he is interested in textiles in Istanbul, Yıldız said, “Previously, there were about 30-40 mills on the streams in our village because the production areas of this region were mills, factories that provided sustenance to people and turned the wheat they produced into flour and produced their winter needs. These were sacred places. The mills were built for a year. After fighting and cultivating, they were a haunt.” said.
Yıldız stated that they worked in turns in the mills due to the workload in the past and said:
“These mills work with the power of water. It is a very beautiful technology that takes its energy from water, moves the stone with the pressure of the water, and turns wheat into flour in the natural environment with the turn of this stone. Maybe if we can develop this and build a mill for every village, citizens can turn the wheat they produce into flour with high nutritional value without the need for factories. “
– “FIRST OF ALL, THERE IS MY FATHER’S SMELL HERE”
Stating that the mill inherited from his ancestors is about 400 years old, Yıldız said that he does not grind the chemically treated wheat in his mill, and that his door is wide open to organic producers.
Yıldız stated that the heirloom mill was a very special legacy for him and said:
“First of all, there is the smell of my father here. When I enter here, I live my father and my past. When I was a child, I always smelled that smell whenever my father came to me, and I understood this better when we first started the mill today. We need to protect the mills and produce. I think communities are happy.”
Source: STAR.COM.TR by www.star.com.tr.
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