WELL AND ORGANIC
KITCHEN GARDEN PROGRAM
Small scale family kitchen gardens are a familiar scene in the village
but complaints about the lack of water during the summer months are
often voiced. Several families have drilled deep boreholes, up to
22m in depth, into the granite, with varying degree of success. During
the summer 2001, while villagers tried to tap additional sources of
water to the large village water tank, a tragic event took away two
A detailed study of the hydrology in the village area would help future
developments but some knowledge has already been acquired after the
visits of geologists, Mehmet Ekmekçi from Hacettepe University
and Tuygun Savaci from the Köy Hizmetleri. It is clear that,
at best, the level of the water table can be only a few meters below
the ground surface but will drop down during dry summer months. The
advantage of the deep core is that water seeping down through the
cracks in the granite remains clean but seepage is often too slow
against demand. Wells, of 1 to 2m diameter, tapping a greater quantity
of water from the permeable geological layer above the granite, seem
to yield a greater quantity of water but increasing demand should
be monitored to ensure that the water table does not drop too dramatically.
Water and pumps
The Kerkenes Eco-Center, phase one, with the help of the Australian
Embassy, tackled the water problem by investing in a deep borehole.
A first trial within the project plot of land was found to be too
hard to drill although at least 2m of water seeped in the 7m deep
borehole. Although drilling was abandoned, a hand-pump was installed
for occasional use. Water will be tested to determine if it is fit
for drinking. Passers by will be welcomed to use this modest source
of water and a small trough for animals to drink from will be built.
The second deep core was located a hundred meters in front of the
house, by the streambed, within the plot belonging to Dr. Sevket Bagçi,
who very kindly gave us permission to drill on his land. At this location
a 12m deep layer of sediment was found on top of the granite. A total
of 17m were drilled using 16cm diameter corer when the granite was
Once drilling was completed and the borehole cleaned by the Sorgun
Fire Brigade, to whom we extend our thanks, the submersible pump was
lowered down and connected to a switch panel controlled from the house
balcony. An electrical switch allows water to be pumped down to a
certain level and then cuts off automatically. A pipe brings water
up to the existing water tank systems on the hill behind the house.
Water can then be used under gravity without further pumping.
Wind pumps, which would demand an investment of $1,500 to $3,000,
are envisaged in a future phase of the project but as an immediate
alternative the electric pump is being used and will allow preliminary
results for the evaluation of different techniques and problem resolution.
It is also clear that such an investment cannot be contemplated by
most of the villagers but through cooperation and a possible common
scheme families might get together to invest over a period of 3 to
5 years a sum that would allow one wind pump to be purchased every
Once water is available, its use has to be as controlled as possible.
Drip irrigation is a well-known technique that does so but the commercially
available systems are also beyond the villagers means. An alternative
was set up with relatively cheap plastic pipes in which holes have
been punched. The system works and even if control is not as sophisticated
as with systems available on the market, it has been found to be economical
of water. It was unfortunately already too late in the season for
the system to be fully tested and the yield of vegetables to be quantified
but hopefully summer 2003 will tell the tale.