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But Our Water.... by Jodi Lohrman

It wasn’t that many years ago that I thought water was water, especially in the United States. It’s wet. It can be cool. Hot. Refreshing. Healthy. In recent years, I have learned that not all water is the same.

During 2020, I saw an article reporting that folks in the Silicone Valley were paying $50 a gallon for “Raw Water”, water directly from the source with no filtration. I thought to myself, “Ummm, that’s what we get from our tap every single day for free.”

You see, we have well water. Because we have a restaurant serving the public, we have to have it tested by the State Health Department every year. It has always came through with flying colors, but the more tell-tale sign for me of the excellence of Honeysuckle Hill water comes from a couple of different sources.

First, when we had our well dug, they went 285 ft. deep. Yes, they found water before they hit 285 ft., but with Andy’s permission, the well-drillers went a bit further trying to hit sandstone- the earth’s natural water purification system. Eureka! They hit the sandstone and it had a great flow rate to boot!

Andy immediately took the water to a business that sells water purification equipment. Because we had water purification systems in all our other homes, we fully expected this water to need a purification system, too.

When the guy tested it, he told Andy that they couldn’t sell us anything for our water. They couldn’t make it any better. They only wished they could get water that pure! Wowza! What a blessing!

Over the years, we would have family and friends stay with us or just join us for a meal. Several of them would comment on the quality of our water. Some guests who have overnighted have commented on how nice the water feels in the shower, on their skin and when washing their hair. Even to this day, Judah still takes home a 5-gallon container of water for her drinking water.

Since we have had the restaurant open, guests have complimented us on our tea and coffee. If I am the one they tell it to, I usually tell them it’s because of our water from the sandstone being so amazing.

During this hiatus, I have been thinking more about our water. For one, I saw someone on t.v. selling their New York bagels and the selling point on why their bagels were so much better was the water from the Cascade Mountains that supplies New York’s City water system. I had to chuckle because that water by the time it goes through all the processes to flow from their tap is hardly representative of a mountain spring. However, our pure “Raw Water” is used for every process of operation here at Honeysuckle Hill including boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes, yeast activator for our bread, of course our tea, coffee, and lemonades, and even our dishwashing.

While we were at a private home catering a private dinner party, our hosts were educating us on drinking water, what pH levels water should be and what properties in water actually nourish our bodies. They have a $5,000 drinking water purification system to help turn their city water into nourishing water at the correct pH level. Pure water with the correct pH is important to them.

So, this week, we decided to bring our water connoisseur friends over for a taste testing. These friends travel not just nationally, but internationally and have tasted water from all over the world. We had some water from the $5,000 drinking water purification system, local municipal water from the tap, nine bottles of popular water from the store, and of course, our Honeysuckle Hill “Raw Water” from the tap.

We tested for taste, aftertaste, smoothness, smell, and tested the pH. Based on taste, aftertaste, smoothness, and smell, the top two winners were the $5,000 drinking water purification system water and the Honeysuckle Hill “Raw Water”. While the water system water had no taste or aftertaste, the Honeysuckle Hill water had a slightly sweet taste and pleasant aftertaste.

The pH for pure water is considered 7-8.5. The water system water had a 7.2. The Honeysuckle Hill water had 8.2. Six of the bottled waters had pH under 7. One had a pH of 8.8.

So, what’s the big deal about water? Well, to just realize how blessed we are to have great water and offer great water for our guests. As we plan to open The Cottage at Honeysuckle Hill for overnight guests later in the summer, we want to make sure that we are offering them, and our dining guests, the best experience possible- even in the ordinary things like water.

Water is life. So many places in the world do not have an acceptable and easily attainable source of drinking water. Water is one of the many blessings of life. I am so grateful our water flows from the sandstone. When we have frivolous talks of one day moving to a warm place far away, we always come back to the reality of the blessings we have here by saying, “But our water…”


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