Irrigation and Water Quality

Courtesy of Brenda S., Thompson Street Farm, Glastonbury CT
To avoid shocking my leafy greens, I either water in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is set enough to cool off the hoses. We are on a well, so the hot water in the hoses isn’t that much of a problem. Sometimes I just turn the hose on and wait until I get cool water. Then I water the beds, which take about 5 minutes of running the water.

I’ve sent water samples to the lab to get tested and will continue to do this. We do not run our water through any home filtering system. Farmers who wish to process their own jams and jellies must first have their water tested and then pass a food safety class, and this is why I have my water tested.

Here in CT we have a new law nicknamed “The Pickle Bill” which allows farmers to process poultry (under 1000 birds) and process jams, jellies, salsas, pickles etc. right on the property. In the past farmers had to send birds to a slaughter house for processing, or the customers would buy the live bird first then give it back to the farmer to “process”. In addition, if farmers wanted to make jams and jellies and other products from left over fruit and vegetables,it had to be done a commercial kitchen. This bill eliminates these requirements.

This new law requires all farmers who wish to process pickles, jams, jellies etc. to have their water tested annually and have some food safety certification by an accredited organization recognized by the state health department. In my opinion, cooking in a restaurant kitchen has nothing in common with a home kitchen or canning. But, its the law and I’m complying. My well water has been tested for 2 types of bacteria and I’ve taken and passed the commercial food safety class.

Several times a week I will set up a bucket of diluted water and fish emulsion and water young seedlings. I stop using the nutrients when they are close to harvesting (about
a week before). On plants such as tomatoes, I again use the nutrients when first planted, but as they grow and begin to blossom I stop. I want more fruit than beautiful foliage on my tomato plants.