Come February a health inspector stopped by Buck Brook Farm to check on the sanitary conditions of this hippy public housing. While most of our operation was up to snuff he did have trouble with our water supply.
We were using water from a spring that we piped through a pump for pressure. The water was crystal clear, cold and delicious. But we were running a commercial kitchen and public housing and the rules are the rules and we needed a chlorinator to be safe.
We looked into chlorination systems and found a unit that fit our needs. We bought a large holding tank to store enough water to guarantee an even supply through the chlorinator, a good sized barrel to hold the liquid chlorine and a special pump that squeezes tubing so precise amounts of chemical can be measured into however much water we used. And we ordered the chlorine.
The chlorine hadn’t arrived by the time we were ready to test the system so we put water in the chlorine barrel to lubricate the tubing, fired the system up, and it worked like a charm. We put the lid on the barrel and forgot about it.
A few weeks later the inspector returned, checked our equipment and the ratings for the pump and congratulated us on an excellent system. As he was leaving he remembered something and lifted up the lid on the chlorine barrel. After a quick glance he let go of the lid, nodded his approval, and informed us, “You’d be surprised how many folks forget to put in the chlorine.”
From then on the campus enjoyed 100% natural spring water purified with 100% natural spring water.
One of the staff members at Green Valley School had a friend who lived near the Florida campus where we enjoyed our Christmas retreat. We were invited, so several of us decided to spend an afternoon visiting. After a short drive we found ourselves being shown around the friend’s orange orchard.
Our host pointed out Florida oranges have the advantage of exceptionally clean water coming from wells in the middle of a very long sandbar. We call this sandbar “Florida.”
Some researchers had become curious about where this wonderful water comes from. As I remember they introduced radio isotopes in several places throughout the midwest and waited to see which particular signatures of isotopes appeared in central Florida. It was discovered this magnificent water enters the ground up in Indiana or some such, one thousand miles away.
In other words, the water has more than a thousand miles of earth to filter through before being sucked out of the sand for Florida oranges.
I wondered just how pure the water was now that it had isotopic tracers in it, but I sure enjoyed that right-off-the-tree orange! Succulent and sweet and oozing orange lusciousness!
As we were stuffing wedges of warm, juicy orange in our mouths our host looked around his little patch of orange-orchard paradise. He drew in the fresh aroma of the warm Florida air. And he commented that this would change soon. The Walt Disney company had been around talking about building a second amusement park, even bigger than Disneyland.
This was Christmas time, 1969. We were eating oranges twenty miles south west of a quiet little town called Orlando. Walt Disney World opened in October, 1971.