Preserve the microbiome of your soil by removing chlorine from water.
Lunch Hour Lesson #44
Today’s talk is going to be short and sweet, but will hopefully give you some food for thought.
When my husband and I grew our first vegetable garden, we spent a lot of time getting good fertilizer from a local farmer and preparing our own compost for the soil. We even used what’s called a “green manure” which is basically planting a cover crop in the fall, of clover and other grasses, so the soil wouldn’t be bare all winter.
This effort was primarily to improve the microbial and mineral diversity of the soil, to ensure that our vegetables would have everything they needed to grow big and strong.
Another goal that we had was to try to set the garden up to be as self-sustaining as possible. Which meant installing a drip system with sprayers on timers.
Once we started fiddling with this water system, a thought occurred to us, and that was: what quality of water are we spraying on these vegetables, which will eventually become our food?
In our house, we had recently installed a water filter in the kitchen for our drinking water and for rinsing vegetables. The filter is intended to remove chlorine and contaminants like pesticide and pharmaceutical drug residue that commonly populates drinking water supplies. This has been a concern in the public health and science community for decades.
Now while I appreciate the use of chlorine in our municipal water supply to make it safer to drink, I do not want to actually drink the chlorine myself, so I do my best to filter it out before I ingest it.
The more you practice, the easier and more routine it will become.
The primary reason I’m concerned about chlorine is that it will disrupt my internal microbiome. Chlorine is meant to kill bacteria, which means it will also kill good probiotic bacteria in my intestinal tract, which is not desirable, because I’ve worked very hard to optimize my internal bacterial balance.
Back to the garden. We were doing so much to optimize the bacterial community in the soil for our vegetables, it seemed counterproductive to then go and water everything with chlorinated water.
So, I found a few in-line hose filters to remove most of the chlorine, and we were in business!
A side note would be that you wouldn’t want to pickle or ferment any vegetables using chlorinated water for your brine. The whole point of fermenting food is to encourage particular bacteria to proliferate, and chlorine will weaken these bacteria and cause a less than satisfactory result.
Look up “garden hose water filter” on Google and see some reviews and videos. We went with the Camco TastePURE RV/Marine Water Filter and it worked well.
Lunch Hour Lessons with Allison
Watch this week’s Facebook LIVE – Lunch Hour Lesson #44: Filtered Water – In the Garden?. Each week I bring you a topic related to nutrition and health that I think is interesting, and give you a lesson to take with you into your daily life. Watch Live on Facebook, Wednesdays, 12:30pm PST!
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