Celebrating our Hungarian heritage is part of daily life at the Eminence Certified Organic Farm. Designated as a local heritage landmark, our award-winning farm features a number of traditional Hungarian architectural elements, including a wood-burning lángos oven, antique grape press and traditional water well.
Water wells have long been an iconic feature of the Hungarian countryside, extending dozens of feet beneath the earth’s surface to draw upon fresh, drinkable water. Designed in authentic Hungarian style, our water well rises over seven meters into the air, soaring high above our certified organic farm. Here are a few of its traditional features:
The Water Pail
Handmade from 33 pieces of wood (32 staves and 1 bottom), our water pail has been recreated based on traditional Hungarian design. To make a full circle, you must cut at least 12 slightly tapered staves. The generally accepted belief is that 32 staves create the “roundest” bucket.
Traditional Water Well Sweep
Unlike wells operated by hand crank, Hungarian wells used a crane and lever system known as a well sweep. A well sweep consists of a long, horizontal pole (a sweep) mounted like a seesaw on top of a vertical frame. A rope and bucket are attached to one end of the sweep, and a stone or clay weight is attached to the other. To fill the bucket with water, the well operator would pull the rope attached to the bucket to lower it, then use the counterweight to raise it out of the well. While some effort was required to lower an empty bucket, only the same amount of effort was required to lift a full one.
As Strong As An Oak
As far back as Neolithic times, oak has been used to line water wells in the Hungarian countryside. Settlers would fell mature oak trees of 300 years to construct well linings that reached up to 22 feet below the earth’s surface. Known as a flexible, durable wood resistant to warping, oak was considered an ideal material for well construction.
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