2018 Güneşköy Vegetable Boxes now starting

Our "dry and stony" land had never been used for agriculture, unlike the fields below, which were fertilised through occasional flooding bringing fertile aluvial soil.  Over 2 years, the land was improved: stones removed by teams of volunteers, and organic matter added.

Though we had hoped to not depend on natural electrical supply, once we brought electricity in 2005, irrigation was arranged through a well drilled near the Balaban stream (and brought through Ekrem ve Saadet Yağcı’s land, in exchange for their also using the water.  In the drought of 2008, ours were the only lands that were able to grow any produce at all in Hisarköy). 

Drip irrigation (the first used in the province of Kırıkkale) takes water directly to the roots of plants, minimises evaporation and salinification.  From 2005, Güneşköy began to organise one of Turkey's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) systems: between 2005-2014, organically certified vegetables were produced and distributed to families that joined the annual scheme.  

The Central Anatolian climate allows the production of 20-25 varieties between July and November.  Between 60-80 families have received the weekly produce delivery.  Farmers from the vilalge of Hisarköy were employed.  Learning the production techniques and distribution approaches, several have continued to directly produce and sell organic products at the weekly organic markets of Çankaya Municipality, in Ayrancı and Çayyolu. 

In 2015, the construction of the viaduct for the Ankara-Sivas high speed train track meant production was only carried out on a limited scale.  In 2017, Güneşköy's CSA began again.  To reduce environmental impact, instead of distribution directly to homes or workplaces, boxes were delivered to Distribution Points, from where families collected their boxes (and returned the previous week's box).  Starting with 5 points, over the season three more points were established, the 8 Points covering a wider area of Ankara.   

A short film from our 2010 6th season