N&M: What do you like most about your work?
Taner: “I love to work with nature. You can feel that energy around you in our orchard. I have learned a lot since I went organic. In the organic approach you don’t fight plagues and diseases, you try to prevent them. You have to learn about the life cycles of insects, so you know when to take action, but no more than that. We don’t exterminate them, we always leave some of them alive. That may cause a small amount of affected fruit, but we can use that for our compost. You learn lots of tricks to work with nature’s balance. It’s a bit scary at first, because you have no guaranties, but when you see it really works, that’s a great reward.”
N&M: How do you fellow growers feel about it?
Taner: “In the beginning they are always a bit reluctant, because they are used to the conventional approach. My largest colleague started very carefully with just one field of organic trees, but after a while he got more enthusiastic and switched all the rest. The first thing they appreciate, is that the new approach saves the environment and the health of their employees. Then they discover that they can sell their second grade fruit better, because in the organic chain they look more at overall quality and less at a little stain on the peel. So the insight and enthusiasm grows gradually!”